Rings true on paper – by the book
but characters tend to leap off the page
as we thumb the human chapters – leaves
of crushed bones, tautly stretched skin, blood-red ink.
Virtue, fidelity get twisted, strained out of proportion,
never again to assume their original shape.
Leave all, said my Beloved, and follow Me.
The Beloved is our one true Friend
but that does not absolve us of our infidelities.
Maybe each is destined to wear the robe of Abraham.
The best I could muster now would be to hand God
the knife, curl up beside my son on the offering stone.
Unfit, unripe by my infidelity but, surely,
not abandoned by my one true Friend.
Thin scriptures, gold-trimmed, rattle the pages;
columned, annotated truths ring hollow
when blood spills, bones get broken;
when loved ones, weeping, appear
among those left behind. Then, words of truth prove
not worth the paper upon which they are written.
O child of God, beware of truth small enough
to fit into discourse and sutras, parable and song.