When the floor collapses, it’s time to make an act of faith.
Dominique de Menil
Saint Gregory said the body is just
an ill-proportioned building. It is
unwelcoming: a windowed room
with a wood table and fluorescent
lighting. A poverty of meaning
in doors and feasts; they are merely
nonverbal expressions for what
What do you learn when starving.
If seeking the divine, visit the pantry.
Hunger’s nothing but a scam. Isn’t it.
If bread teaches us anything, it’s that
we are at the center of the table and
can be swallowed up whole. I am so
good at kidding myself and speaking
as if the main part of the sentence.
If light is beauty, it sure sets itself up
late in the day. Those who believe in it
invest in stained glass to catch it, making
any blurred images appear as a fugue,
giving the atmosphere an ornamental
function. It baffles you.
But any metaphor for emptiness isn’t
a reproduction of it. To recount one
is like reconstructing the moon
from memory—you only recall half.
As any tangible reminder, the world owes
you nothing, but gives it anyway.
I approach the apse and give my name.
I want things. I speak to empty space.
I choose the words. If I apprehend any
meaning, it’s because I see a glare.
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.