Saturday, April 14, 2012

In the Church of St. Joan of the Cross

What more does Bobby  need to know
than what she felt when the fire licked
her body with its pale bestial tongue,
the pain permeating her sight
unstained by her persecutors' crazed cries
as flames reached into what she saw,
the light ascending into light,
her body becoming bones and ashes . . . 

He came here with mother Henrietta
the first time, and only on the feast day
of his patron saint, San Juan de la Cruz,
did he return to La Iglesia
de Santa Juana de la Cruz,
each year a new padre, and all their words
the same test of faith . . . and on that one day
he did not rise when the church was empty,

nestling his head between his broad shoulders,
his fingers spliced, all his weight on both knees,
light swaddling the dark around the altar,
the moon braiding a path through the skylight,
eyes fixed until he saw there the French child
embraced by the barefoot Spanish friar,
Bobby transported by that pool of light
to the street, the path leading through the night.

(8, 14-15 April 2012: II)

copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander 

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