Chancellor Florida State Poets Association
Florida Poet Laureate Volusia County
Winner of 2011 American Poet Prize
A presence and this morning's shower
lingering like jewels between my thighs.
As if to flaunt my unpreparedness – towel
for a turban; my face, a pale and open sky –
I greet them at my door. Picture the scene,
they ask, a harlot sitting on the back
of a fearsome beast. A terrible waking-dream
of a naked whore of false beliefs straddling
the back of a wild boar: metaphors for the Parousia.
Yet, standing on my porch, I wonder if they are attached,
newlyweds perhaps, who fell in love over scripture
or perhaps they present themselves like this: a final act
to test my interest in the text, or in the man. Sun-bleached
hair, finger-combed, his face unexpectedly tanned,
the curl of his lip. I tell them to come back – a slip,
or another faith talking? I say this squarely looking
at him. As for ancient debts, healing, forgiving: I am going –
have already gone – toward the living.