I poured out my tongue, undid the cork,
my lungs blew breath, words formed a froth
bouqueted a cup in what I meant,
like oil dripped, I drank them up,
I gave my cheeks to them.
That did inspire wine, a prayer was sung.
Give the prayer I pray my tongue
In all books end to end.
The prayer like blood on ground,
Give me to understand.
To forgive and be forgiven
was the yeast the words give up.
Give me to sup and pour out peace
World without end without end.
The communion cup cracked
I didn’t spill it.
It got on the book at the end of the pew.
When they sang a hymn
It pooled in the rug.
Down at my feet
on my clothes, on my hands,
it was wet on the Bibles in the pews,
in the song I couldn’t sing,
I couldn’t see the screen.
Others may bleed, the flood has been great,
the blood now stains those who remain,
When I put it to my lips none was left.
I don’t wipe it off.
The drops are everywhere.
Everything I say is true.
I sit in the front or back pew
among heavy smokers and their beer carts.
My feet hurt but it all happens as said,
where the back of the hair is parted,
and locks change colour in the forgiveness.
Large people, aspirins with headaches,
for a rough week of Hopkins, speak
there will be light, there will be light.
Passion stands up for thanksgiving,
its name notwithstanding well known.
but it’s not my name I came to sing.
Trees grow in the window glass.
Silence grows too. Collections are quiet.
Nobody wears a coat.
I get in trouble sitting at the back with the smokers
living happily after nosebleeds
where people hold hands.
When your father grows up
and your mother grows up
and the world grows up,
and you grow up,
when you help your neighbour grow up,
and when you love the world,
when you love the life of the world
of blossoms and waves
and the nectar waves
grow way up high
and we see you fly,
do be kind to yourself and neighbour,
do be kind to myself and me,
do be kind to the blooms in blooming
so everybody sees
that when you love the world
you’re loving the life of the world
and then you love the world.
AE Reiff has two chapbooks of poems, The True Light That Lights at Parousia Reads and Recon at Trainwreck Press.
You can find more of AE’s work here on Ink Pantry.