Unholy Assurances

A necklace pinned to a chest

And now nailed into my palm–

And in a feeling of general, amazed unrest

I hold this silvery golden river gone calm.

I’ve watched it many times before,

Twinkling above her breasts,

Growing very old and very poor–

This cold resting necklace, pinned to a young woman’s chest.

My finger, crouched and feeling

Clutching this dead body in a hand,

Holding him, and losing

(in my very own forestlands).

And with my little thumb I press and rub and feel

At all his little silent grooves–

His grooved little mouth, and eyes, and heels,

I press and press and press and press–

On such a sweet little thing busy blooming on another’s chest.

Dumb with provenance

And meekness, and grace

Suffering on a cross

So that we all may save some face.

His eyes are downcast,

Splendid, and chilling,

And his cheek a little turned

At the absence, of feeling.

And so–

Hushed, and gruesome,

Bowing his head,

I observed his soul listening

To the wondrously ill wishes of the dead.

Little Christ!–

good Christ!–

a Christ as much as he–

Dangling on this soft little necklace pinned to a chest–

as much as I am me.