Lent has stilled the bell tongues of the town save for the carillon of the Catholics tolling the hour to the courthouse. Think not of the dark-robed there meting out a facsimile of justice. Think of the choirs of geese on city park lake that do not force piety on one another; they settle on open water after hours on the flight-path over the Continental Divide. The earth wakes and cares not whether the Penitentes smeared in lamb’s blood put up timber crosses in the Jemez. The waters will swell and course and the body will surge and sing, burn and desire.
The soul dies if we are silenced, made to feel we cannot speak, cannot name what is—as seen with our very own eyes. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the heavens, the Big Dipper each night pour milk over the fields, how Canis Major burns on, glazing the mares’ backs with frozen light. Someone is turning the earth over with a great fork so that air, light and water come to it to soften, split and raise the seed.
Mozart finished his requiem in indecipherable whispers. He shut himself away to hear the callings he wrote down in a rain of black notes on parchment. He couldn’t stop or silence himself. Whitman the same, writing a woman waits for me, of waiting and surging manly love and we, we women are the takers and keepers of the seminal milk and we seek diligent assuagement of the inner flower. I need you. I hunger for you. As it is Lent, I confess that I have often terrified myself away from being filled and released to my own torrent.
Here then is a sundered dream: the priest proffers the host to me and I open his robe and take the bread of love into my mouth. He goes down on his knees, spilling forth the incarnate. Later he finds me and spares me nothing, with his circling tongue and probing fingers. I am the bread of life, he said; she who comes to me will not hunger.
But broken promises—that we will no longer make war, that we will be changed, rage on as the billowing light of day. Even when the sagacious geese that fly and call to each other mate in mid-air like a refueling, and all the unseen things writhe together in the dark privacy of the waking brown grass and the slugs make their light-filled orchid from the intertwining and strange elongated glands that then burst, so that each falls to the grass, spent.
March 30, 2011
Copyright Jenne’ R. Andrews