One of Ireland’s abandoned cloisters. Elsewhere, whitethorn wound around a martyr’s head reliquary. Be still, wildflowers at its center, rising claret sky its impossible nave. Burning yews, I walked into its feral stone, my life a shipwreck when I was 16: What I want is still always the same, to change my life. Mary’s yes, after the archangel asked, his opulent shadows. How do you live in this world after all of heaven says yes back? Wounds of grace, we’re dying of love in strawberries’ gleam. Yet again, watching a hummingbird’s tension. Hovering—crimson incandescent gorget—God’s perfect machine. Sapphire smokelight. She said yes-—gilded dart a joyful prayer—to watch her son die. What do you shape from terror? In my blackout nights when I didn’t know God, the pieces assembled as heifers slow-moving in a herd of breath. My heart turning as my premature son jostles in his crib. Light on my tongue: foreshadow, forsake and unbind, but heaven starts in the mind—earth’s not our home—illumined & charred. The heart moves & moves again.
We offer today’s poem in part to celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation, which is March 25, 2023.
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