1 Corinthians 15:55

This is so I will remember:

First there was the darkness, warm wooden slats beneath my feet

The thing I could not see yet

As I flung the tapestry of the towel up toward the line

A sudden, unforeseen

Stab of pain and fire and fury

As the clean, damp laundry fell across my face

I stumbled into the sunroom

Dropped the washing

Lament

It hurts so much

People I love tend my single wound

Just over the left eye

Baking soda paste, analgesic, antihistamines

Soon it is not as bad

As I sleep I can feel the swelling, so pronounced on the left I am afraid the eye will be temporarily unusable

I wake up with swollen eyes, raccoonish

Was there some way I could have drained out the poison? Was there more I could have done?

The night it happens, I murder all the wasps and all their young with thin streams of caustic

Wasp spray

And vengeance.

All day i can feel the swelling, I take my medicine

Pray

But on the morning of the third day

I can feel the deep, intractable itch

The toxins have flooded in

And I know it isn’t over yet

Prayer to the Prodigal God

Oh Prodigal God,

Hear my call, and forgive my faith of rags and tatters. You are the God of sombrero galaxies and horseshoe crabs, God of immaculate wonders, yet my biggest fault is underestimating You, not asking more, not asking for more eternal, not standing in insouciant confidence on all you have already done for me.

Heal this child, oh beautiful Splendor, heal this child, my dearest Love. All my broken words are not enough to draw a rough chalk effigy

of the single, seamless garment

You are spinning out around all of us

Saturated, incandescent

Light.

Squint into the sun

The old woman (who once was beautiful) pondered what to say to the young, hypothetical, and inevitably naive bride and groom.

After 30 years it came to her–allow yourself one

Magnificent affair

Beyond this rickety and impoverished union

With the One who made the sun