Weightless as a float into the drift of water, one whose sin is forgiven.
The Far Country a memory of fists and sour apples.
Of that old, heavy plunge through snowfall, frozen, refrozen.
The tug of gravity, slow and silent.
Of no words forming on dry lips, of breath aching to a full inhale and then a
Of not yet. Not yet. And the longing for release.
The hold of grimy pleasures like a small mouth forming very small o’s,
Like spaces as vast as the tundra with no human voice or as tight as a wound spool.
The wasting disease of sin, God’s serious hand of judgment.
Then his gentle push: the swing into the spring air, back and forth.
And then the breathing, unboxed. And later the fingers spread
wide in the grass, each particular blade a tickle.
The Father runs into the road, his embrace a chunk of earth to the unmoored.
The twisted eyebeams, the Father’s gaze into his son’s tentative face.
Pupils black with light peering into the lens of revelation, crystalline.
Now comes the filling in of hunger, the bread hunks spilling crumbs.
The wine meant for throats dry with salt and dust.
Here is God, his strokes on our dead flesh
Filling capillaries, sparking nerves. We are fed with the crusts
And blood of forgiveness, with the thrill of its gentle float, its ripe music.
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.