Paxil Christi (For Lorenzo Albacete)

Paxil Christi
for Lorenzo Albacete

I want to drink the sweet cup of your serotonin, Oh God,
and eat the sweet meat in your bones, broken Christ.

“These are my t-cells, broken for you.
This is my biochemistry, shed for your healing.”

Rilke, in translation, calls you “drifting mist,”
Holy Boson.

You transpose the songs of old stars
in great pyres,
their death rattles hum on our sinews,
our tongues,
forging all means to see
and receive them.

Their death is Father,
their light across time his Son,
our receptors, star-born,
death-born inversions,
atoms within us receiving.

This is no metaphor, physics.
Spiritu sancto, Amen.

Comprehend with us
in compline,
brimless fires, these,
alive with holy heat,
perfect burning beads by which
we contemplated God.

For World Poetry Day: To You Biographers of Caesar

To You Biographers of Caesar

To you biographers of Caesar,
I am that murdered general,
a Roman nose engraved on silver coin;
an alabaster column in perfect Roman order,
a sword, a plow, a prefect,
a century of soldiers—
a bumper crop in Tunis or in Spain.

To you biographers of Peter,
I am that Prince Apostle,
a Hebrew man enshrined beside the Po;
a traitor and evangelist fell prey to Roman order,
a sword, an ear, a net for men,
a century of soldiers—
an empty cross along the Apis train.

To you biographers of Arthur,
I am that coming high-king,
a Celtic myth in Celtic pride entwined;
a pauper and a prince, once, before the Roman order,
a sword, a stone, a chalice,
a fief of noble soldiers—
the Cup of Christ long kept by England’s swain.

To you historians of Athens,
I am that naval power,
the wisdom of my people long beheld;
Master over Sparta before the Roman order,
a sword, a fleet, the polis,
a city-state of scholars—
the light of pagan Europe in my blade.

You genealogists of Adam,
I am the father sinner,
God’s firstborn from the dirt of Eden’s shade;
a farmer and a workman, the sewer of disorder,
a sword, a tree, the rocky earth,
left to my warring children—
their history still in my image made.