Poetry  – 

Having Encountered a Three-Personed God

Disarmed, I am battered

     by a three-personed god,
banished into the sacrament
of a new body, a hut on a pond.
     The trinity of my body and yours has done it.
My body, yours, and something else.
Tell me,
     please, how this hut
was built—
Was it built in a frenzy
     of male and female effort?
Effort, that Protestant word.
You happened to take the shape
     so perfectly of a man
that I couldn’t help but be lost in my distraction.
My distraction took on spiritual proportions.
     I’ll say again, again, the world is going to hell
in the cheapest plastic handbasket
but I’m moving farther and farther
     away from that world. I was, I am moving toward your lips,
I’m moving toward you—
You, who persuade me to forget
     what I rid myself of—
what we—
Though you shut the door on it,
     though I have locked myself in rooms with it.
Look! I’m ensnared again with life.
Mutinied, ferried,
     enthralled, accompanied
by one who will look like you, who will look like me.
I had been pent up in rooms high in towers
     paying penance, trying to communicate
an impossible narrative to an impossible recipient.
But then I shed my long skirts, my cape, my boots
     laced to the knee, my layers of underthings.
I shed my rings and bracelets, my embroidered stripes and chevrons.
Beadless, unadorned, simple, without shoes, in the absence
     of a believable god, I traded it all
for a shift—
I found the hut we had abandoned.
     I entered
and the building was finished in a night.
I fished in the pond there and made small fires. It was the air
     in the trees that set me with child.
I did my work slowly and found myself remade.
Now when I return,
     eyes flashing, hair full, face flushed,
it is that I am coming back to the world.
     Not to the world I was fighting, but to you,
full of moon and sun. What is unweak, true.
     The paintings of the Spanish cathedrals are alive
under my skin, the peonies of summer hang heavy when I wake,
the man, earth-made man, strong as the many horses in the field,
     tender as the newly knitted bone, supple in half dream lies quiet
when I, disarmed, go down to sleep.