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Long Beach, CA

I Trust the Crucified God

I saw God in a back room, bound and gagged
Looking out, at once, on everything,
Lamenting all there is to hold
And all that we let go of
And all that’s pulled from us
In this cruel world

Then the door was shut and
What business was conducted
I’ll never know 

I’d seen him in the afternoon
His nose pressed up to the Metro window
Taking it all in:
The great caressing beauty of it
The soul crushing ugly of it
The stink that makes you quake
The heart shaking in fits of rage
At all the desire it can’t rein in

I trust the crucified God from whom the universe unfurled 
Like thought jumping train rails 
Hinged, every atom of it
On the choosing
On our choosing
(His and ours)
On our finding the other side
Of landing astride our longing, born long ago in burning stars

But now we hang here
After time has stopped and blackness has rushed in
And we can’t breathe in or begin to put our feet forward
And then, at the last, despair of even that—
Of gasping air
Our souls despairing of caring 
Or daring to rise again  
To grasp the budding branch that once soothed like aloe
Like gold, that joy, which we shared and compared to treasure, 
Hiding it, with hushed tones, smiling
The branch bearing wild fruit
That made us full
…All because life’s cold crush has still-born hope
And the loss, and the letting go--
Which is what life is--
Devours us
As we hang there
In inky air

The world was founded on all this 
On insecurity and doubt and suffering as the only air for lungs to breathe
Because, like gas fills a vacuum, 
So, for form to take its place—be it matter, or the shape of human hearts
Every space, for good and evil, must be filled
Every possibility penciled in
Every draught distilled down
For our drinking 

 He knew 

 All this of this

Knew it would be villainy atop the towers
And in the streets
And at our feet
Rose petals among the excrement 
As we sit with our pierced longing,
As we bleed from wounded sides

I will trust and honor
Any God 
Who so surrenders
Any God Who,
In His creating, Himself was re-created
And found
Already crucified 
Prefiguring in His pierced person
All that was to come