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When did my life become the past?
When did our new world, the new creation,
the fulfillment of everything, become patience?

We worship patience now.
This island effaces with endurance,
our lives that grow into longsuffering.

A smile to notice how an island’s stony perimeter
is much like the end of the world.
How the deeper blue of water lifts

into the liquid broadcloth of sky.
Every element is patience,
so I learn from earth, I resemble earth,

hard-wearing the border of this forest,
this beach and quiet surf, these pebbles,
moving the parchment of my hand

slowly over this page,
knowing you will find this.
Knowing assurance

that worship is an island
that circles itself and ends
beautifully, amen.

The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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