Articles/Essays – Volume 57, No. 2


Cup of secrets at the mouth,
gate of astonishment, flag of denial,
register of deeds, cradle of arithmetic,
ledger of greetings and good-byes,

catch of trust;
the palmist opens for a dollar in her dark tent
and discovers in its plains and spaces,
its map of furrowed earth, its sky

with trails of clouds and stars,
its hieroglyphs,
                        a puzzle reading across
and down:
                        so hand will extend voice into silence,
mediate need, weave from the light

and dark of the heart an intricate basket
for kindness and pain.

                                                At end, wing of worms,
squatters in abandoned tenements of spirit,
blind seamsters threading the sinews
of their brother fingers to an ancient, clay-bound,
hemless, secret sleep.
                                                When even they
are soil, unturned, unmourned, what hand may still
with the haste of angels lift every-

thing that’s ever breathed to houses of light,
hectic silken pavilions in trees
where history hurts and dissolves


in a cup of secrets at the mouth of God?