Friday, December 31, 2010

St. Sylvester I

with heaven as my witness,

there are not enough pines

to fill this hollow heart.

escape into the woods.

from the bottom of a ravine,

you cannot hear the ice crack

under her feet.

crack your whip

and see how many birds

come looping out

of holes in the trees.

one rabbit will bound

out of a thicket.

brave the thistles.

get close enough

to see yourself

in its marble eyes.

find yourself

beginning again.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

St. Egwin

you tried to explain heaven,

but I just couldn’t wrap

my head around it.

it was like a carnival

with all the lights on,

but the rides grind

themselves to


the ride operator winks,

lifts up his straw hat,

and suddenly, he is

buried in a rainfall

of torn tickets.

the sun is so spicy.

it burns my hands

as I exit the ride.

will these blisters scar?

is my love-line forever broken?

does God really

take me as I am?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

St. Thomas Becket

it looked like wine

spilled and fanned out

over the tiles of the cathedral.

the O of your mouth

was a window. it made me

nervous just to look into it.

I saw some words

caught in the pools

of your cheeks.

there were birds

resting in the beds

of your molars.

this room is hollow,

your eyes are still

wide open.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Holy Innocents

I lined up all my collections

down the center line of the highway:

feathers, coins, stamps, shells,

porcelain cats, ticket stubs--

to see how far they’d take me.

I just wanted to be more irresistible.

all the letters that tumbled through

or mail slot told me I wasn’t quite

right. I was what wasn’t.

I'm banking on the fact

that a new year is coming.

it shines like newly-washed fruit.

Monday, December 27, 2010

St. John

your thighs are

the turrets to

my house

you said to me

as I took a bite

out of an apple

that didn’t taste

like much of

anything at all.

your teeth

are diamonds

I found in the snow

you said to me

as I tossed the core

into the bathtub

just to see it float.

I didn’t tell you

what I did last night

because I knew

you’d scream.

you said to me

as the apple bobbed

and the water

grew cold.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

St. Stephen

go slow.

start with the

smallest stones.

little hunks of quartz,

penny-sized hematite,

a tiny piece of asphalt

stuck to the wheel of

a bicycle.

next, find the smoothest

and flattest--perfect for skipping.

they will glide right across

the slope of my stomach.

if you can,

with your two strong arms,

I want you to get

the stone virgin mary statue

from down the block.

uncurl the vines from her robes,

pull her out of the flowerbed.

she will be heavier

than you always thought.

throw her.

pick her up,

throw her again.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Nativity

you are the bravest thing

to ever fall down these

hardwood stairs.

you asked me

to spot you

and your weak ankles,

but I couldn’t help

looking away--

towards the red

warnings about snow

that flashed from

the television.

I want to bury

everything. You

want to unearth

it all. It’s falling now.