DOUBT


            "Blessed are those who don't see, and yet believe." John 20:2
      

I.     

     

This is no walk of faith. Any surety
of step gives him pause. He is now

 

a silver man with silver hair,
sporting a gently-used navy blue suit,

 

swinging a cane. An even-blue rhythm.
A metronome, a downbeat, a cowbell. On the

 

one, he eases a heel forward, each step a rebellion.
Slide guitar, a bare ankle above a spectator

 

prefigures an intersection. Cars, lights, rain.
We all have our own wounds to wade.

 

Wind the string. Find the chord.
Pluck the tune. There is a steadiness

 

about him. Carmine and ochre thoughts
toppling the last meters of afternoon light.

 

II.    

       

He blinks his outrage at remembering
what is no longer there. The bluish-white

 

beadboards of the rented room, nicked and bruised,
Each slat a spear. Isolation, solace, doubt.

 

Godhead of memory. He tastes
the darkness of winter breaking.

 

III.

 

The past. Apocrypha. A Virginian
field all aglow. The orange haze

 

of harvest. A moon-basked heifer,
a country girl of no consequence.

 

But it was the smell of mown grass,
not the woman. The moon burned his skin

 

as he traced her dark areolas, the sky
reminding him of the itch

 

the puritan seed in him said
never to scratch, and yet

 

he followed her, so she would not
have to go alone.

 

And walking that faraway mountain
road, like a conversation that thins out

 

into silence, he searched amongst
the colored gravestones. So many ways of being

 

he could not fathom. He could not imagine
believing in what he could not touch. Her body

 

above his. And for that one moment
the world actually made sense.

 

The angry houselights blinded all reason. Such desperate
faith obscured by felled trees. Lying there, they flickered

 

their resentment at not being stars. A missionary, a native.
Each possessing their own kind of faith.