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The Left Hand of God


Hailing a Cab

The Mumbler Speaks of
Pigeon Wars

Squeeze Play: For Joe and
Norma Jean

A Local Virgo Makes the Paper

Safe from the Elements

St. Valentine's Day: When you Care Enough to Send the Very Best

Completely Well: For B.B. King and Wallace Stevens

April Dancing: For Dietrich

The Left Hand of God

Passing Thru for Ti Jean

The Rosary of Dachau

Who could ask of anything more
in this world
coke and popcorn in the movies
with the man of my dreams
reaching out to hold me
not the way it seems
taking a chance
to touch me
in the near deserted matinee's
dark silver screen temptation

It's no wonder, though,
that at the time
I didn't understand
his hand begging
across the seat
dearly dropping in
passion's desperate gesture
his whole life
cheaply in my lap

and suddenly
I am being invested
by consecrating fingers
weaving weird circles
round and round my fly
as puzzling to me
as the Holy Trinity
ordaining my blind faith
with the unholy order
of his groping sacrament
into eye-popping heresy

Father knew best, though,
and kept his eyes averted
like the good confessor

I always knew he was
until he could no longer ignore
the penance of the stigmata
gracelessly staining my pants
as I flashed in my drowning confusion
the sight of my altar boy attendance
at his resplendent priestly presence
as he bent to bow at Benediction
before the golden monstranced gaze
of our all-seeing and inescapable God

while above our heads I could see
the pale, projected Biblical light's
revealing stream funneling feat
to images on the screen
leading me to understand
not then, but now, that in love
victim and celebrant may be one
and when the Spirit moves
in its strange, mysterious way
it is only to perform a wonder
full of, in the best sense, innocence

In the prophetic
grip of the coming attractions
we rose to leave
and with a look
like a prayer for a private intention
you sealed yourself
into my life forever
with a secret like a leper
who in the heart-rent tending
leads you to deeply love
the healing beauty beneath the sores
of the soul's unseemly skin

who could ask for anything more


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