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Simple and spiritual intentions slip

‘Simple and spiritual intentions slip easily from the memory unless joined to corporeal similitudes.’

—Jacobus Publicius, Oratoriae artis epitome, 1482

for Isaac

So slip into the patchwork cloak of day again,
into this rainbowed cowl: your Sunday best
made from the domed refraction of the rain.

Put on the miles your trepid feet will pass
lagging forever behind them. Ravel the streets,
each building’s sequent-chambered sweetnesses;
arrange these, room by room, in perfect circuitry:
neurons ensconcing a titanic, hybrid heart; its walls
dilating—halls, the treble valves & vaults that feed
souls’ tissue filtred out unto some deep deific Calm
peculiar to thickets in pastel-clotted avenues,
impastoed over all the distance fallen.

Review. You are a mirror the world has raised up to
inspect itself. A turbid vane of weather, ever
turning to rejoin its axis, ever seething through
until at last the pane can clasp both views together,
attenuated in this skein, where all the mottled
landscapes vitrify: mind’s fragile cantilever.

Into the frayed array, then, into the bottle-
neck of stuff & senses, through lonely razor-shoals,

through hills & veils, a panoply of puddles,
each sky’s emulsion clinging to your shoe soles;
never to hold your gaze, its prospects blurring
through each others’ edges…you must go,
intent on one bright ending in a flurry
of endings bright with promise or disaster
nearing us now to quench our hurry.

So stand in your motions, fastened faster,
scuffing through the rut that clocktime blindly
leads you roundabout, into forever’s laughter.

Incise around your panoramic skull a skyline,
plucking the empty vault away serene
entirely from our traffic’s syllogistic whine.

Affix for your jawbone the mercurial sea,
silences purling in its deeps—pure words
in between the surf’s clamoring teeth.

Let such shapes take you as the vivid earth
yields, offering into your stillest interlude
fruit bittersweet as blood or music. Let births
recur minutely as your limbs are pruned,
or else outgrow your scaffolding until—with rust,
mud, blossom, moss—the costumes swallow you.

Take as a spine the sunset’s incandescent isthmus,
hued by halflight & the sweet debris with which
each dusk has touched our tired cheeks & kissed us
momentarily before some sidereal switch, flipped,
eddies the sky’s exhausted lens to drift & dream
myths strewn across the stars, reflected in a ditch.

Out of this, GOD authors psalms in periplum:
rhymes riven with the fear which limns all ritual,
yearning its symmetries unto the farthest hem,
unto the squinting filigree of hope & pain, to cull
nutrition from the distances. Spreading across
light years of dark material, his Soul
extends its green attention. Out of the dust
swirled burning into personhood, he
singes songs, where nothing true is lost.

Join with all nature, then, in manifolding
opacity; its jumbled colors like a kind of night
I rifle through, yet have not found a hole in.

Now put on clouds of eyes. Put on bright
evaporated beads to magnify the sun’s secrets,
dredging up the torrents to arise as sight.

Try all of these: take, eat, taste, see. Bliss
orders the spheres; its starry pollen glistens,
ceilingless. Aside those vasts, seek this
one face akin amid its difference,
refined by flickers, spectral grasps, & hold me
protean, until I shed all distance.

Out of me, pull what gleams; the rays unfolding
reflections from the waterdark, where sun extends,
evoking growth’s blush from the closed, cold deep.

Although we do not fit our habitat, as when
liquid arcs to lens above a cup’s rim, still, we try.
So slip into the great restraints of day again,
into the means of meaning, fervent lines I
make from studying ecstasy; the bounding, bleary
image of your face, my changing child.

Let forms phantom through you. Do not fear.
I rest beside you while the lullabies unwind,
touching my silent mouth to your whorled ear
until, hidden in your listening, you find
depths drawing up…thrum-thrum…a refrain
echoing through ebbed flesh, keeping time,
slipping you into the bristling wave of day again…