Of Sin, Part IV
Said Christ, “All will be well, dear ones,”
And leapt into the rift.
And with his darkening, to faith
He set our ark adrift.
And when he hummed—through candlelight
Or darkness, none could tell—
“My message hence to every soul
Yet born upon the swell,”
The deep riposted him with groan
And drum—unto retreat
Both board and bone aquiver
Set its ratter-tatter beat.
Thus, quick as quick, departed Christ,
Beyond his earthen throne,
A covenanted people but
For candlelight alone.
But under threat of tepid hearts,
The waxen spirit burned
With memories of mountain breeze
And shores we had not learned,
And fortified by newborn air
To face our enemy,
We left prenatal candlelight
To berth upon the sea.
With simple song, by common blood,
We bore the rainy darts
And dragged to deck tenfold the souls
Paid by unbeating hearts.
But as our spangled host approached
The pyres of the sky,
That cataclysmic spawn replied,
“We die—we only die.”
Surrendered then a kind of dawn,
A milk to manifest
A yellowed, stillborn stillness to
Relieve the night’s unrest.
And pressed to sodden bosom, sipped
Our lips a victory
Hierarchical—once foundered, now
We suckled captaincy.
Aglide we plucked from docile boughs
The ripened souls we sought,
And loosing lips from foreign breast,
We ate the blessed lot.
And when we sloshed upon a slat
Across another slat,
A vision birthed of altars for
A new magnificat.
Both hull and mast succumbed as we
Dispatched their wooden toll,
In order to from candlebox
Erect a capitol.
And lo! Upon our works we looked.
No cheer arose, but clapped
The waves upon our wooden shore,
And wind our banners snapped.
Then cackling flocks assailed our work
With winged artillery
And hurled a word upon us. “Ev-
er wedded shall we be.”
“To bed let us repose,” they said,
As night revealed our foe
And sent for us a graveyard gale
To feed her undertow.
When roofs came down, and skulking shapes
Escaped, no gallantry
Repaired our trodden homestead. We
Absconded with the sea
And cast ourselves the azimuth
To heaven, but the glance
Of hopelessness enticed us to
Embrace her old romance.
Then fell the sky in inky mirth,
Our hope enveloping,
For though we bore the name of Christ,
We served another king.
And mouthed a mouth, as waited we
For silence to ensue,
“Oh God, oh God, we needed you.
Oh Christ, we needed you.”