In the middle of the
night the Lord comes to ask
about my greed. I tell him instead we should talk
about faith. Not anger? he says gently, there in the dark.
too, I say at last. We are both quiet a moment.
Of what you asked for - the mountain, its trails
to the river, hours alone in rooms with no window,
silence unopened by birds or other singing.
I know I know, I say. I am up on one elbow
on the futon trying
to see him. Maybe there
the corner where my wifes shirt hangs
whitely. Or perhaps he is sitting where our books
are piled. I say to him, I need faith, more so, to believe
and the ferocity to make something lovely
with your gifts. No, he says, calmly. There is a rustle
below the window but it is just the cat
the curtain. The moon slips into the room
the way water seeps into sand. The light everywhere,
on my wifes shoulder, my daughters chin as she lifts
This is my Jerusalem, I say quietly,
meaning it. I come to it knowing. The Lord laughs
at my insolence. You want too much, he says. And
know what you want. Like Peter? I say, teasing,
when he was up on the mountain with your son and asked
to put up tents? Different, says the Lord. I can tell
is ready to leave. Dont go, I say. You havent taught
me faith. Please, I beg him, open my heart like you did Joseph
into Egypt. But different, says the Lord, again, and disappears.
make notes for later. It is the same conversation always:
ignoring the obvious to go on with crutches. Yet he keeps
coming back as if delighted or amused. As if mending
is broken does not concern him. Perhaps
there are no mysteries, only this longing
to play the familiar game getting less so all the time.