Who you are

         Even though our outer nature is wasting away,
         our inner nature is being renewed day by day.

               —2 Corinthians 4.16

The great cathedral, reliquary of dust,
stones slowly vanishing, not one on another,
glacial, archaeological, yet prayers still hover,

the vast city built on a plan now lost, underfoot,
abandoned, inhabited now by the unknowing,
descendants of descendants, but still dancing,

the shirt you loved longest, tattered like Grecian isles,
a screen, threads gently departing one from another,
the years it recalls, also faded, emptied,

the characters you’ve played, all victory and debacle,
the strength to bend this world to you—all is husk.
Your flesh, your proof, your precious dust—all go.

Let them go, let them be, or not be. The husk gives way.
The miracle, that most is, is in the seed.
You are the growing child within your aging womb,

the love your flesh inhabits, unfolding, unending,
renewing, chrysalis after chrysalis, your tender Lover
working every wound and find and step into a gift.

This is who you are, the river, not the bank,
the flowing, heaven’s breathing, new, and new,
and every moment singing, “Let there be light.”

   —June 5, 2018


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