John 12:2-3 NIV
 Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him.  Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
What do you or I know about spikenard? It is named for a place or places, it grows in the Himalayas, it came from afar, a pint would have been a fortune, an amount of almost incomprehensible treasure.
I say almost because Mary knew what she was doing.
The incomprehensible treasure was the Man at the table.
This scene so similar to the earlier one–
And Lazarus was at the table
Only we know now, what Mary knew then–
He is the perfume that fills the house
Dead raised to life, his life for mine,
Nothing will ever
Be the same
As you well know, I have been trying to focus on the presence of signifiers–the feral blender noises the dogs make when they are behind the dark door–the way the clouds pool and furl in beautiful splendor–let us say our daily prayers
Swap the signifiers
Killer clouds for beautiful dogs
This savage world/all ripped to pieces
While the light of one ordinary star is enough to
Just how good you are
At holding on to me
All the same.
Oh howl, my intemperate soul–
Until it was too late
I did not realize who it was
Singing on the porch each night.
Thought it was a frog or a night bird
Not this perfect little cup-sized creature
I have no place to go to speak my grief
Only the knowledge that it is me and my kind who have
Ritualized the extraction
of each small, indelible singer
Leaving us to mother
What happened to me, that in a moment of gargantuan hubris, I smudged it out? So what if it lived in the books or the play things? So what if it preferred the damp and closeted nocturne?
The moment before it was a glinty, wriggling alive
Then it was just an undoable regret
A life I should not have taken
We all have them–
Our ghosts, the ones we wish we could
Bring back whole
A parade of The Returned–
Uriah, John the Baptist, Stephen, Joan of Arc
Leaping and unfettered procession
Amidst the boundless sea of
these trees of life
I could be a quark or an hurtling star,
A duck or a chicken
Living on one side of a beat-up plank fence
With knots in it, and scooped out holes
Signifying they all used to be trees
and the fence and the yard and the girl are just
Another kind of spaceship
Prone to sunset
Nothing can stop the Splendor from breaking through
Every hole in the fence.
John 4:12 KJV
 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
I have sat in the noonday sun with these two people for hours here and there over the course of my own friendship with the Man in the story.
He could have just answered her–
But he knows I will be listening, that others will be listening so..
John 4:13-14 KJV
 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:  But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
A person cannot go wrong with living water.
But it is worth noticing the question she asks–
Is Jesus more powerful than Jacob?
Strange to think of all the days when
The hope of Mankind hinge on the Jacobs of history.
When Jesus was coming
The strong right arm of God
The one who makes all other heroes look
Like chumps and losers
It’s not rocket science, I tell myself, still present with my former self in the iterations of the supplication–old and unglamorous skills get unfolded like the swords beaten into plowshares.
Or the plowshares years later, back into
Swords where there might have been a daughter or two
You know I would have took that many and more
Or tried to sow or shape them from whatever you can make into a girl
Not dragons, not the teeth of dragons
But words stronger than all of my
Isaiah 55:11-12 KJV
 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.  For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.