Lazarus

He walks into every room looking for someone who might comprehend

what it is

he has seen and heard

He weighs their solemn waiting-room-faces

Do they have

Better memories now? Do they still need to write things down or

Know every word by heart?

Are all the lambs among them and

can we see their scars?

Who can end this waiting

By calling us out

Out into life

Silverfish

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

The Redeemed

these trees of life

Splendor through the fence

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.

Eternal Sea

When I wrote the slim, hasty, typo-ridden memoir Just, I used pseudonyms.

I chose to link my adopted children’s pseudonyms to their first initials C became Sea,

Sea like the color of his eyes

Sea like the cold ocean we stood in together

Sea like the depths, the hidden things both beautiful and terrible, the bigness of it all

Sea, placeholder for the God who makes seas then makes them evanesce

C is lost to me for now. He has disowned both me and the God who made me

But I can still remember

The time you hit your mouth on the hard metal of the seesaw and we had to rush you to the dentist

The way we would wait until you were sleeping to exclaim over your cuteness because

Most times when you were awake there was both sturm und drang

The time we went to the shore and I carried you on my back and you pummeled my head all the way back to the car

If I had a dollar for every time you hurt me or someone else I love dearly

It would not begin to be as much as you are worth

Of your eternal value

Of the Light you can become forever

If you just

Turn and face the Sea.

All hat, no cattle

I once did a series of poems called the calvarium poems. I called them that. They remain in a kind of womblike obscurity, you could say the poems were like children

If only an ordinary person like me could

Cast a spell with words

Hocus pocus–live!

Abracadabra–live!

I alternate between believing

That the dry bones are the children tossed away from their mothers, their doctors, their strangers holding signs and vigil across the street from the alien clinics, iron bars on windows, misleading titles, security guards and not enough imminently visible heartbreak over this or

The people, the-all-of-us, too craven to save their little, perfect, amazing

Calvariums.

When mountains crumble

Think about it.

Your darkest night

Your loneliest moment

The here-and-there times when it is either your own

Life or the life of the beloved

Taken from you

Faith I get

Love anchors

But it is my squint-into-the-sun-reticence about hope

Which drives me to speak

Of mountains.

Today darling the mountains

Are all shaped like crowns

Crowns of thorns or flowers,

The braided laurels of an imperial victory

He said, it is finished beneath these crumbling mountains

And I will wait, sometimes in tears

To see them all

Thrown into the sea.

You are eternal

Years ago a man who fought fire told me that the hot center of it is black, vortex dark, a hole you could fall into and never stop

Falling

There is no fire without burning, I tell the children, each sun a metaphor for something

Something bigger than us

Something bigger than them

Than all the worlds of burning

Light reaching back to us

Saying something

Maybe in Morse code

Flashlit messages exchanged through neighboring windows by children in the night

You are…eternal

You are eternal

Luis, I…

Luis, I once lived in a country where the money I earned was worthless outside the country but could buy beautiful, irreplaceable things inside the country. I had a gigantic blue suitcase, a backpack. I took treasure home, but not enough. I should have emptied my bags of all the replaceable things and brought home treasure.

You are home treasure

You are Home, Treasure.