Religion

Illiad Press Grand Prize Literary Award: Winter, 2003

I’ve been all over this land, searching for the unattainable

I’ve sailed all the oceans, scoured the crevices of every continent,

looking for the unachievable.

I’ve spent more time than I had, more strength than I had left,

Trying to equivocate, to replicate, to reverbate,

I have not found the means.

No altar have I discovered, upon which to kneel,

No temple where I might finally shatter the frail glass of my soul,

Cathedrals of light have eluded me, stairways to the heavens 

I’ve found locked like subway gates after midnight.

I am handfasted like a Pagan, standing silenced as a sentenced monk,

as unforgiven as Judas, as misunderstood as Joan of Arc.

I’ve immersed my words in séance, breathed my life in the air of the shaman,

folded my hands in Eastern meditation, and sat in stained glass silent prayer;

I’ve begged forgiveness from somber statues, given my heart to the sea in sacrificial rite,

I’ve seen the blood flow in the jungles where they hang their gods from trees.

This penetrating fantasy that escapes me originated somewhere deep behind your eyes

I’ve seen it walk by in shadows, heard it falling like rain on the rooftops;

Even in the sleep of the dead I dream.

Still I cannot feel, though I’m believed to be still alive – still at large,

My soul still missing, kidnapped by a memory.

Out there, in the vastness of the mysteries of the world,

I’ve never found what exists in you;

My essence captured by your slightest glance,

My blood flows warm within the walls of your heart,

and our love speaks through us like religion.

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