Common Prayer

by Josh Huber

We live in winter smoke: gray on gray
(cold but not very.) A darker smoke
of birds curls over the road. I drive–
a ball bearing rolling in the greater
whole. There are errands; others at their lives– all busy buzzing separate circles,

dancing the same numbers, honey from the same hive.

Then the day blues and lightens, gilding naked branches thrust skyward

with gold and shadows. So all the gray proves multivariate with such celestial
tendencies unspoken and well-hidden.

Yet, there is the guiding vision. What was
it again? A prism, a pane, an arc
of broken glass through which some great glory might go–a bell to be struck and to ring–
the voice felt at heart’s core core pronouncing, You’ll do…

That disarmingly pragmatic, heedless of my faith or lack.

Of course, not alone. There’s a whole mosaic–a

particular pointillistic passion
for each dot blooming toward the total
image. Wind saying be–saying ask–
saying trust. The awful hope that you will
get to love (a while) what and whom you love.

Anyway, the Eucharistic bliss
continues apace. This delicious
vanity courting the common holy:
guileless as water, pudding-sweet and thick. Not all angels are operatic. But some

leave cavernous chambers breathless, cut

a strut across sensible restraint, anchor the gaze, step fermata after fermata within the human measure, split hate’s lip by force of love.

Well, the slow liturgy craves on–woodpecker wonder–

rat-a-tat rat-a-tat

at time’s trunk,

the spaces we share open in shallow
hollows: not empty. Between us an altar
set with all our accumulated meanings.
Say the words. Make the signs. We’ll raise these ordinary exceptional elements:
our bodies, our blood, in alteration
effulgent, lit to blinding as we see
I you, you me.

We eat from each other. Below moss pillows our cornerstones under.

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