“May this cup be taken from me.”
I can rest here, deserted by the only men who love me— the freight of grief I carry for them left to uncurl in the sun, like a dying stem in my palm. I kneel among the tendrils: to study the stand I will take to prove my guilt. For a moment, I deny I was begotten, not made—the life-line on my kissed hand, proof I was once wrinkled and imperfect. I’ve always known my true life would begin and end in a garden like this, my will not free, my breath not Word, everything: bloom— but the bloom the wound of a pupil overtaking the eye. The darkness a comfort. Because my errant whisper— even muted by a wall of leaves— becomes prophecy, I’ve never said what I feel: that I would die to live as a carpenter’s son, to see my rough hands make a thing as real and inhuman as I am; that I dream of being a wooden box filled with flowers, set next to an untended grave. How I would cherish my part in the bread of such an act, in the artful life of the dead.