Tabernacle

Hush, now;

the sun is spilling over these unending pastures,

and she is standing at the end of the field,

watching

the coupling and the uncoupling,

the warp and the weave,

the sky and the soil;

and, holding a handful of dirt,

sees light race to the edge of the prairie

where it drops off into space.

There is a voice, here,

a scrap of sermon remembered:

“…let us reap this rampant harvest from the firmament.”

She stands, letting the stalks brush her hand-

some are bent,

some are broken,

some are painted with a swath of morning,

and some are spattered with a thin trail of blood,

as tails of air uncoil in the wheatgrass

over miles of root woven to the earth,

pulling at the groundwater;

something moves, a pulse

insistent as the creak of a wooden pew,

in this place

unleavened as the bread

cooled upon the dinner table.

Hush, now;

she stands at the end of the field

as the wind stirs behind her,

and, for a moment,

picks fragments of ash

from a naked foundation.

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