maundy thursday

i sat out in the evening

deepening dusk illumined by candlelight

and star points

the dark skeletons of trees just

beginning to bud

rising awesomely strong before me

something flickered and darted

above the roof’s gentle peak

bats, or nighthawks, tiny stingrays

of the sky

as i strained to see through veiling cloud

i glimpsed the pinpricks of fire

shining through and wished you

were here to stand beside me

barefoot and silent in spring’s raucous solemnity

you concretely, who i can see

and bandy words with

you specifically who were never

taught you were alive

then you ephemerally

who might exist in hazy memory yet unmade

you in your peculiar beauty of uncertainty

who will learn the topography

of my veins and bones

it has quieted now, the night,

that mockingbirds even have tired

dogs talk occasionally in bass inquiry

but the undomesticated have self-muted

i wonder how He felt

in a garden, alone awake

alone understanding the deeper reality

of things kings and demons thought

in their pride they had wrought

was He afraid, there in the dark

with the night noises of His handiwork

preying on His humanity?

did His heart — His limitless heart —

skip beats as He gazed in the

face of Him who meted righteous wrath?

beyond the shame, did His eyes

grow bright as He pictured her waiting

shining and beautifully ransomed?

as His eyes rained down tears

was He weeping the horror of separation?

but then He accepted, silent

He who could have snuffed earth out

without notice

i don’t understand this

as i sit in the nightlight

peacefully writing and guarding

my candle companion from gales

the fact i can sit here

fearless is itself a wonder

wandering through history

to wonder of you

my hell He lived through

and died under

my mocking lies ringing

in ears that heard the

planets singing before

man had known pride

but stories don’t end unfinished

and here i sit

wind swishing through pinetips

red hair dully illuminated

by flickering flame

astonished that death is blood-soluble

and cannot remove life from Life