para Padre Mario Prada
When you pray, eyes open, your words
are pearls, your arms a cross.
Only worldlings are stretched
so thin cloud priests sacrifice them
to eternity. There you reach your arms
into wings that will never catch you up,
holy paradox, bodhisattva catolica,
you wish only to save the others first.
Stay here too restless to be satisfied
to go alone, no happiness but on this earth.
Sacraments are always a little further on,
waiting for the image in a mirror
of the body of the youth whose callused
nail-borne hands reach, refusing to grasp
your hand, there being no need for his touch.
Bodies in your Bogata, Mario, lie not far
from parables of lost children cut down
to prove only that their assassins kill.
Stories of these deaths find their shapes
in words that weep with the poor's tears.
Arms a cross, hands outstretched, their fingers
a spine for flight from rusty scars of age,
sacraments that mean nothing now
but the agony of not having lived,
born only to die.
Let me go, Lord.
I have much to do.
Will there be time?
Was there ever?
Is silence the harvest or the feast?
(11-22 June, 26-27 July 2014)
copyright 2014 by Floyce Alexander