Song for Sinai (Tenebrae)

Today as I pray, half-asleep, at dawn,
thin the parsley sprouts, sweep,
fold laundry like I’m folding cards,
I recollect that I am not whole.
I am the charred tongue, rough and forked,
I am the brazen feet gone molten with lust,
I am the silty water, slick with oil, churning
and heaving in the gale-force winds.

I look at you and am blind,
sighted a long way off and
met by your broad compassion
as a stubborn shore meets
wave after wave after wave.
Salt and light in my coastal fractures,
you scour me clean, but today
I remember: ashes to ashes, dust to dust–

what I want is simple; it is everything.


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