On that day, a lowering sun will decant the shape of a lengthening angel onto the grasses, her darkness rippling over the oak roots, blistering the gravel, sinking into the cracks of the walk. She will crease twice: in mounting the steps, in climbing the door. If, in knocking, I pause for even an instant, her hand will be there before me: a fist. To which of us, then, will the door be opened? From earliest days it has been our custom to engrave on the inner curve of the coffin’s lid a rivulet of script for the dark to run, until that morning when all souls rise in the riven light, ring out anew in flesh incorruptible. How will the world look then, what shape will the risen sun make of us; what words will appear on the curve of the far horizon? In the interim, I pray that my small, white guests at the feast not be healed of their blindness by the spittled mud of miracle. May they ask no blessing, bow to nothing, but come unlit, unlettered, into the chambers prepared, to ponder what scriptures they may find inscribed on my heart. If they should die before I wake, may we travel, one flesh— blind and turning in the sky’s bright socket, and on the day of the Final Angel, may we be, together, the knocking, may we be the door.
This poem was originally published in the Spring 2013 edition of the Saint Katherine Review.