Night was an over-turned bowl
when you arrived.
You were overturned.
You left with the morning star
when you drove away.
You saw the morning star.
Your face was set like flint
when you left.
Your face was dry as flint.
Alone in a Mustard Mini,
alone on a shadowy lane.
You moved with the morning star.
Dawn was a bowl of light
when you left,
a bowl of light.
You’ve got Pentecostal hips.
They swing and spin me
like a prayer none but God
was meant to catch.
You’ve got broad Baptist shoulders.
You sling the weight of my name
across the sea of your chest, and you run quick in
your Salvation Army boots.
In the light of morning your mouth is all spirit and flesh. You are Fundamental
in all you do. The heart of you is Jew.
The core and beat of you of you is blessed.
Blessed are you, my tribe of One.
You’re a congregation of Anglican
veins: weaving red secrets deep
inside the moving map of your body.
You’ve got Catholic hands.
You reach and give and smooth
and when you nick your finger on a knife
your blood streams Orthodox.
You hold my gaze from the East till I laugh.
You call to me from the West.
If I turn to the South you are there,
smiling. Even in the chipped Northern hills I find you
setting up a table for me.
Lighting candle after candle. Pouring cups of wine.
I murmur songs. You sashay about.
How good it is to be loved by you.
How wonderful is the sound of your voice.
I want to give you all my strength
you my duty,
you my joy.
He’s an old bastard. Not
one for small talk.
If you speak with him, he’ll go straight
to the meat of the matter:
He is a dog.
Ears always alert
to the Lord’s whisperings
which come clearly as thoughts:
telling him to say this or go there.
He walks the highways
as if they were the long palm
His wife’s a broken tap.
They want children.
How could anything hopeful spark
from the tangle of their ravelled limbs?
He a liar,
father of us all.
Each night anchored
like a gale
she howls. In the morning
he surveys the damage: Nothing.
His palms press inner hush. In the stillness
His arms cradle a wife bare as a basket
where she holds
the love of a man she loves,
a flat with space for more.
Don’t the lemons look luminous
in her dark wooden bowls?
Their scent fills her ever-moving kitchen,
Lemons bitter as light,
sweeter than light.
God drums inside her. Lives in the shapes
between her lips.
A note, a reverberation,
small enough to fit in the fist
of her heart without exploding
like white noise behind her ribs.
And this holds her in place,