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Without the Elation of Rage

ISSUE:  Spring 1996
The light shines in the darkness. . . .
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
        John 1:1—5

Body of rain
body of water
body of God from the words:
body of my father
lying in his final weightlessness
of words, lighter
in the floating bed
of blue weeds, fire-clouds,
dreaming in the beginning
where there was once the working
hard flesh of my father
painless and shining
in the darkness as the planets
do, as God must have
done in the minds of those
who wanted him to.
But today is another
day of rest for my father
who has no reprieve

from his body, its slow temblor;
what hurts the earth’s reddened
core, hurts first language
and the standard of hours
as they blow against
his white surrender
flags of breath.
What makes for Glory
and full of Truth remains
dust in his draftsman’s hands,
on the palate and tongue
and so buried in the ash of
my voice dusting over him.
I keep what I say simple.
I drive the steel train of my rage
backwards, become soft
a similitude of silence. Father,
I am here to touch you, to remind
us both we are fleshing-out
the words and their moon-faced
contexts, each one
dissolving every evening
like the Host on the sky,
the black tongue of God.


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