“I knew then / that I would have to live, and go on / living: what a sorrow it was; and still / what sorrow burns / but does not destroy my heart.” —Jane Kenyon
she is gasping
in the water, making eyes
at the ceiling,
at the asp, grasping his hands.
Here it comes, the old psalms, vapors
escaping. The Good
Book is the best book ever and this is how
we fail every day—communion
between poet and parishioner,
an indistinguishable translation
of missteps. The same way glass
is man-made and not the same
golden light that crests
Heaven’s gables and cantilevers.
My tongue is not the tongue of an angel, as in my dreams.
Only my uterus is being born again on the settee, tacked
with upholstery by the carpenter, the very man who wall-
papered the stanza, built the confessional, covered the legs
of the indecent pews. Why else would Jesus have such a modest
profession, why else would my body take
this opportunity to open
her zaftig ruby mouth
for carcass after carcass?