epiphany

March 17, 2009

the throne was crushed polyester
fitted to the steps
bright lights, shiny lectern
it was walking up there
it was a man with a Bible
open in his left hand
supple, limp
the way leather bound thin-paged Bibles are
his right hand up in the air
karate-chop-rigid
a hand that cuts straight thru
to the bone, to the marrow
cutting life from death
truth from lie
good from evil
and now it lies flat
open on the pages
caressing, its middle finger riding the crease
the way a hand presses and rides on a woman’s
buttocks
his voice earnest, pleading
this man who knows something
something that knows everything
demands everything offers everything
God Jesus Preacher Polyester

this is one throne
there are others
the rock on the hill where I prayed
afraid of my doubts but declaring them
the great starry heaven
the quietness
the counter at the shelter
the laying out and the sharing of food
the priest on Governors Island
the host, the wine

why that word “host”?
the wafer that plays host to the body of Christ?
no, already it is Christ
it isn’t host to Christ.
it is Christ in the oven
Christ in the field, bending in the wind
Christ in the soil, the muck and microbes
the sun earth and water
it need not become Christ
and Christ? what is he? is it?
the anointed one? the ointment?

many thrones I was saying, many altars
many times I give myself over
in bed each night
each morning
and the thrones draw closer
it is the soil I knead
the air, a space in the air three feet ahead of me
raised a bit above me

I have learned a new way of walking
I call it walking backwards
or “backing up”
it is interesting what one finds while backing up
walls and sometimes secret doors
I bumped into a wall
the wall was a door
I walked backwards into the room
I saw a man with a Bible
I saw a polyester altar
I saw a starry sky
I was inside myself
I was the room I had entered
I was the throne
I was the chair
I was the altar and I was on it
I had given myself to myself a thousand thousand times
only I could discover this and not until now
I alone am worthy to receive this
who kept me from knowing this?
who placed the throne three feet away in the air above my head?
who put in on the polyester?
on the hill in Jerusalem?
was it simply a matter of time? protection?

everything pretends to be a throne
we all sit in chairs
the air is expanding
we forget to breathe
the sky is light
everything is shining

am I at last worthy to receive this gift?
is it not the giving that makes me worthy?
to give myself to myself
a thousand thousand times,
only now do I receive

in this room are a thousand million tears
a thousand thousand prayers
my prayers, they are still here!
they never left the building
they never got thru the ceiling!
this room is filled with prayers
unheard, waylaid prayers
they merge into a great joyous shout:

Welcome!!
You are the one.
You are the one we have been waiting for.
Come in. Welcome.

we decide to stand
the thrones vanish
the altars crumble
we move together
a flock of birds
a school of fish
our stillness and movement one
enough with the karate chop
with the earnest, the worthy, the polyester

turn around
spin as fast as you can
your eyes will see everything
dance
flock
school
walk
run
knead the soil
watch the air expand
see it shine

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