Gethsemane 77

I woke up after years of sleeping in exile
I found myself in this town
I understood that everything had changed
I saw my days running out of breath
I smelled the wet earth
I inhaled the memory of trees
I was falling
I was falling into place
I understood all that

I came here like you
I came from another place
I crossed the border
I am here with you
I am known to no one
I came here to speak
I came here to speak to you

I walked on main street
I passed the brick walls
I followed the lines of telephone poles
I sat in rows of people
I sang with the singers
I danced with the dancers
I marched with the images of armies
I carried the images of bodies
I understood all that

I too am afraid
I look in all directions
I have kept the company of questions
I have asked and answered
I cannot be touched
I postpone my feelings
I thought you knew all that

I know the years
I know how things turn out
I was always looking closer
I was shown the red heart of things
I was told not to look
I was told not to look back

I came to this work honestly
I came to perform a job
I came to perform this job
I pass on things

Some days my mother watched soaps on TV
      [you are not my savior]
This day back in the winter I took off from school
      [you are not my savior]
My father’s work was never done
      [you are not my savior]
The arcades in the mall had become a home of sorts
      [you are not my savior]
This guy bought me a T-shirt
      [you are not my savior]
He didn’t really know what he was doing
      [you are not my savior]
We walked through a bruised baseball field
      [you are not my savior]
There was a motel down a purple asphalt road
      [you are not my savior]
The room smelled of stale air conditioning
      [you are not my savior]
He pushed my face into a featherless pillow
      [you are not my savior]
His fluid fell like sour rain
      [you are not my savior]
He never showed me his eyes
      [you are not my savior]
He was never done
      [you are not my savior]
No one is to blame when a language is lost
      [you are not my savior]
Words go into hiding but are sometimes remembered
      [you are not my savior]

I wait for day
I wait in the shadow of a wondrous lamp
I welcome the unaided humility of starlight
I ask you to behold and to be held
I trust you to stand firm
I promise you the world
I will leave you now
I will be with you always
I know the hours ahead
I hear the voices
I remember the river where we grew up
I picked up a stone and tossed it
I remember the sound of the stone disappearing
I will leave this town
I am going to the city
I will leave you now
I will be with you always
I am alone
I must go

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