12.23.2015

Immanuel

Maybe we have approached the sound
of an army erupting across a cloudless sky,
the clamoring victory cry from those whose
thousand hands drew back the firmament’s curtain
and watched their king go forth,

whose voices rose like daybreak
when they looked, and wondered,
and did not understand.
As for me, I could not speak when the golden dusk
had breathed out glory that gripped me tight

like a baby’s fist around my finger,
still streaked red from the womb but steady
as the ranks of time, strong as a mother’s heartbeat,
unseemly as arms that scatter the stars yet
lift my deadweight bones like something
precious to be held.

Maybe we are approaching the sound
of true love: this low thrumming
moves the ground under me, rattles my skeleton,
shakes my soul awake and I
have glimpsed the land beyond the sun,

I have touched a face older than the ocean
that bent from light into black dust, that stooped
over my crumbling corpse and breathed—

When I heard your name, I wept
louder than the angels' shout.
They do not know the weight we carried on
our cracking necks, the long despair in heavy silence
that is splintering beneath your red-streaked feet,

which have walked from blood to blood across
the cemetery of our earth, and we,
the bones, sprang up with joy
to hear your steps at last.
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