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Lives of the Gods, Lives of the Saints

ISSUE:  Fall 2004

So little darkness in the darkness here.
Each leaf a mirror of moonlight, incomparable.
The Japanese maple spooncupped in gold

is Medusa in the old tale, her hair astir.
Indoors, the wandering Jew makes its pitch
for the wall, thinking I am a constant lover,

twists back, falls short. Are we always
measured by what we do not reach?
What holds us here, out over the emptiness,

is a causeway of cells and light, nothing
more than a dream of crossing.
Somehow a saint or two ever perched, there

on the levered arms of the drawbridge,
bartering safe passage for their human charge.
Outside, the maple moves like lamentation.

Medusa keening in her grief.
Is our call to the gods always outcry?
If they came, like the saints, to listen,

would we ever find ourselves
spooncupped in light?
Would we settle for being held?


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