Monday, October 1, 2001

During the Service

How strange my lack of faith must seem to you.
I see the way your god provides a cradle for your grief;
how lovely to be certain that the ancient story's true.

You sang the hymns as if each word were new—
At last, you sang, at last in Your / Eternal arms I'll find relief
(how strange my lack of faith must seem to you)—

while I kept drifting, lost in the refrains and in the blue
fragility the tinted glass provided us to bow beneath
(how lovely to be certain that the ancient story's true).

Beneath that moderated sky we rose and sang and cried on cue;
familiar words were read to keep our sorrow brief
(how sad my lack of faith must seem to you);

the book upon the altar and the hymnals in each pew
held pages edged in fine gold leaf—
how lovely seeing that the ancient story's true—

and I was wondering just what it cost to see this vaulting through:
the ceilings, windows, ornament; the engineering of belief . . .

But let my lack of faith seem strange to you!
You're lovely certain that the ancient story's true.

(C)2001, Carrie Grabo

Thursday, February 1, 2001

Sugar Dada

Go home. It's never what you think it is,
The kiss, the diamond, the slamdance pulse in the wrist.
Nothing is true, my dear, not even this

Rumor of passion you'll doubtless insist
On perceiving in my glance. Please just
Go. Home is never what you think it is.

Meaning lies in meaning's absence. The mist
Is always almost just about to lift.
Nothing is truer. Dear, not even this

Candle can explain its searing twist
Of flame mounted on cool amethyst.
Go on home—not where you think it is,

But where you would expect its comfort least,
In still-black stars our century will miss
Seeing. Nothingness is not as true as this

Faith we grind up with denial: grist
To the midnight mill; morning's catalyst.
Come, let's go home, wherever you think it is.
Nothing is true, my dear. Not even this.

(C)2001, J. Allyn Rosser

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