The Trouble of Saints

I could have died
in that moment,
when the whole world
leaked into my chest
and nearly drowned me. 

Your eyes were spinning plates
and your fingers were fleshless bones,
searching for something that wasn't
there, absolution maybe, redemption, too. 

They bruised, those damned fingers,
but you were the sinner,
the pitiful penitent with the broken
snake coiled around your wrist;
while I was the god that shone on you
with every conceivable color,
and then some. 

(The trouble of saints
is that they're fools,
every one of them;
they sweat out the miracles
to live out their destinies
in bad statuary and crude profiles
embossed on coins.) 

Your heart won't find me anywhere
because I am not what it wants;
it is a brutal wilderness wherein
the lion's chain is loose and
Goliath is king.





Fish 8
by Gary Simmons