Outward and outward and forever outward


A hymn, an answer to,
such swelling: ringing back
at the broad-axe, oak,
the hermit-thrush still caroling
in the garbage-crusted woods.

A wish, to sing a single thread
through every leaf and eye,
returning each
back on itself again,
your great round closing
on its whole at last. O

a sum, for all our counting,
for all our lists, a word
would be success: only

there is no end
to this, this chattering
in desert nights, bad food and fever, cold;
always, we beat your continuous
song of incorporation, song of the gray
growing belly where we live.

Give us this last verse, a church, forgotten
in the fields, evening dying
on the doors; beneath the spire,
the instant of Assumption waiting
in archaic darkness.

If they came, we would be there, a lone
blue garment gasping in the sky.
We would explain all
to those who bore light.
We would lend grace to that last wall.

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