I love the dusk inside churches,
the soft glow seeping
through windows, most of all
when the pulpit is silent and my thoughts
not drowned out.
My reverence is for the perfect
body of a newborn, all the wayward tendrils
of growth, the butterflies' drunken wing beats
in a lavender field, leaves gathering
moisture above arid fields.
An olive tree flames in my breast,
its aged trunk scarred by wind,
leaves rushing upward.
Its songs are the cicadas'
fugues, the joyous shrieks
of children playing in its shade.
I want to overthrow the papacy,
bulldoze rectories where penitents
cherish hair shirts, edifices where the powerful
listen to themselves in airless rooms.
I want to praise speaking
out of turn, fling open the doors
to outcasts, honor the fragile body's
wisdom, the unpredictability of light.
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Issue #29, October, 2002 :
Santa Fe Poetry Broadside.