From the noon-hammered streets the darkness

Was like stepping into a deep stone wish

Or the echo of a blessing.

A tree of life trellised the chapel’s arch-

And hissed with flaming hearts,

Squinting wild men and busy serpents.

Inside, a jury of saints, knotted like old yews

Clenched their fists towards Sinai

And howled silently into bleaching winds.

We broke the water in the stoop.

It was tarn chill. Fingertips fashioned the lips

Of Christ’s kiss on our blazing brows.

Then we made the shekel slide of dull coins

Passing face over face

As we paid for prayers ...


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