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Milk and Bread 

As to Elijah, she comes jealous
after the wind, the upturn, the flame
A marigold song
bringing the levity of release

God’s own people saw it rain manna
They walked under an umbrella shaped cloud
through the desert
And still chose gold

If this is Vanity Fair
then we’re the bad pilgrims
But we still want her milk

Ginger, golden turmeric
Cardamom and black pepper
Drink and revive 
As she bends down and feeds us

Preservation

We’re putting away
but not preserving
the parts of our heart
that are cool, damp
jam jars with broken seals
in Midwestern cellars
are known by you

The mock orange tree near the driveway
Is fragrant and flowered
but never going to fruit

Lord, bring a great sealing, all of this longing
zested, watered, sugared
seeded fruit
stacked light on light


Super Blood Wolf Moon, 2019

When the moon started to change
the neighborhood kids ran wild
shoeless on stiff grass

The eclipse began its filling up
and after the hour when it tinted red
we all gathered on our porch
and howled

We watched the darkening
our hearts the moon from zero to sixty
our hearts the engine first saddled then loosened

In the long season of the of losing
we are going to stop
and wait
then fill our lungs
and yell the guttural sound
of the missing and the half-departed


A Christian’s a Christian’s a Christian

Finding out who you are
is the greatest exhilaration
until you spend decades of currency
in idle pursuit of the burning heart

Great cathedrals were passed
from architect to architect
they make interesting guided tours:
a weird buttress, a rogue column
the planners and builders
long gone before the ribbon cutting

We’ll die before the great completion
planting salty seeds
the mythical encapsulated in the ordinary

I mean maybe we’ll see revival
a new big tent, hippie Christians in Berkeley
or we’ll flame out
a few wild nights around the campfire

In the Indiana field behind the church
when we were all new in faith
I shouted out something about Mt. Zion
the hearth and home of the Lord

We’ve lived for a long time near the mountains
Mt Rainier and Mt Baker are out in our startup city
a double rainbow outside of Whole Foods

I drew Rainier on the wall next to my desk
pencil outline with a beauty queen banner across its breast
there’s a plane embedded in the mountain, crashed in the 40s
red gloves stacked under frosting cake layers of white

Let’s gather on the holy mountain
let’s use all that currency
so when the emergency flames burn out
we can reckon with our own chosen obscurity
before the first dusting covers our tents


Bed

A poppyseed, a blueberry, a honeydew
when we carry our babies they’re compared to fruit
in-season, sweet, tactile until they are born

There was singing at holy festivals in the Psalms
and that is how you sing to her
sometimes pretzeled in bed, sometimes starfished
always immeasurably long

She traveled through the ring of your body to sleeping in your bed
a call from the dark room, growing pains
feeling around for her pillow, water bottle, animal

Rub her right knee
take the rubber band out of her hair
scratch her head
in the middle of the night
here is the best part of your day


Prayer for the In-Between Times

Lord, we are waiting on both the small and consequential
When we walk forward into the night woods
Hand on the cold bark of the trees
Let us sense a soft light, the next right step

This is the way to discernment, walk in it

The imaginary partition of the fellowship hall
When we’re lonely in a group of people
Protect us from self-othering
Let us love in the benefit of the doubt

This is the way to community, walk in it

When we turn in on ourselves
And want to fix instead of sit with affliction
Our hearts and minds want to be made new
Like pieces of crayon melted into tin molds

This is the way to healing, walk in it

In the blinding force of culture
That conspires against us as much as ourselves
Grant us sweet rest in your Holy Spirit
Your voice refreshing us when we turn right, left

This is the way, walk in it