I have smuggled them away
from my father’s house to this sodden pitch
in the middle of my life, their names
asleep under my tongue. I have walked
beneath the heavens of false faiths
I have loved too much to leave behind.
For which I will be punished. Forgive me,
I have only words to pray with, only these idols
to line the secret study of my heart.
If there is a god he is a jealous god, a desert god,
and the mountain smokes when he is angry. For all
I do not know, I know there is no psalm
but the taste of salt, no altar other than the dark.