Outdoor Chapel

This is the way I feel
when the earth spills
and bends all around me:
A mixture of life and lifeless.

It is like being delivered, quickly,
into a circle of
both knowing and peacefulness.

It stills you to the point
of a breathless, motionless ghost
but also jolts you.

The viscid air, the dizzied day,
the ossuary of history.

A bird represents a million things.
A star, a thousand things.
Our lives, hundreds of things.

But they have been blasted or
molded into fragments everywhere.
We are nothing,
but we are everything.

There are purple lips. Tender veins.
Hooded eyes. Rebels mounting steeds.
Red mountains. Pale breasts. Bronzed legs.
Children’s hands. Old men weeping.

A cartman handing out sausages.
A priest in prayer.
A nurse lighting a cigarette.
A gardener fingering the dew off of a blossom.
A mother longing for a lover.
A fixer wanting to stop.

Filaments of flesh against night.

Somewhere I am you and you are me
and everything around us is them.

Them, the sky. Them, the moon.
Them, the hope. Them, the ocean.
Them, the raptors’ genes.
The hope – not seen in metal and blacktop or blocks of bricks –
but in God’s natural gifts.

Protect them, she whispers in my ears.
There is holiness in this hour.


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