In the days we count the hours, the rain is light and cool.
Nothing is literal: summer downpours ended months ago
in a casual lingo. There is little I need to know.
We share a like-mindedness that grows tall and bends at the ceiling.
Like a mantra. Like liturgy. Like the global hum
of hunger. Like taking whatever comes and taking it again and again.
The godliness of winter, the sinfulness of summer. We lay it all down.
We gloss over the fable where she falls into an endless sleep.
We both know death rested here. Rested and waited awhile,
looking for other scraps, earthly and of flesh.
And in my dark night, I told you of his suicide. The shame of it,
the jaundiced eyes and the funeral, the ocean, the distance.
The husband no longer husband. The dive into the waves,
being belted to a narrative I didn’t want. The lash of the memory of love,
the drenching of new love, of flesh and bone, of kiss and kick.
So you know my secret. I’ll bake and knit and keep a house
more precious than any house, that I may keep a prayer book open on my lap
as I recline by the cold fireplace as in Campin’s altarpiece.
No one will provide a bench and a brass kettle, but you might equip me
with the myth of prurient lovers who over time find the smallest
detail of the other’s body irresistible. My freckle, your thigh’s curve.
I’ve been watching the grackles and now it’s almost dark. A light source
allies us with the Dutch Masters. We should emphasize sorrow and community.
I approached the task of destroying images by first tearing them
out of the heart through God’s Word.
How else will we reach salvation?
We gaze easily at each other over the fire as we drop,
one by one, the generations of our past.