I am hollowing a dwelling in the granite of my heart.
I am thinking then to torch its walls, and sweep out all debris
with a green, a heavy branch of rosemary.
I mean to chip a niche inside therein to rest a lamp,
and I will set behind that lamp an icon of the Christ,
and, kneeling there, lean in to find a little taste
of stillness—that I might descend full unto a likely depth
of vision and a whelming calm, wherein I might obtain
an aspect likely as his own and without stain.
I will prepare a censer—one glowing coal, deep red amid
the heart’s obscurity. And leaning into what bides there
will place on it, mid-prayer, a bit of myrrh.
Should I dig my way at last into the dwelling of my heart,
I hope as well to apprehend a stilling of the crowd,
within which stillness I might dare approach the cloud.
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.