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.

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