John 12

No, really, take it–
it’s a gift. I tried to pick
out something more “you”.

Do you like the colors?
Or the way light jumps
around inside, playing tricks?

Press its curves deeper
into your palms, I
dare you! Can you

see where I carved
your initials underneath?
It reminded me of

the time we shared the
wind together. You
laughed at my jokes, remember?

Hold it still. Toy
with it, challenge it.
Isn’t it just beautiful?

Now let it go.



In this drawer lie countless knick-knacks,
a desk-bottom compost of leadless pencils,
to-done lists, tear and scratch pads, and
a running tab of who has borrowed my books,
all hushed away by another day’s duties,
new and sometimes mostly the same.
But today in this drawer lie two

wedding rings.

The day is still vivid, perfectly

preserved in a rustic frame
of sawdust and concrete
exposed. It was the time when
lazy ceiling glances required
crooked neck and caving back,
a world big enough to leave
me small and wondering.

A simple gesture is all it
was, and one I was only repeating,
but a simple gesture was all it
took–a carpenter’s son
and a stump of a yellow pencil (we
matched in size and color) nestled
behind my smooth right ear.

And you whipped me around.
And your sun-blazed boulder hands ripped it away.
And your eyes broke into mine,
two slipknots on a frozen rope.

Never again.
You will be more.

The Body

There’s no grand entrance
or entourage; we come as we
are not. It’s not like we haven’t
explored other options–we
tried closing our eyes.
But to open instead and gaze upon
knowing smirks on wrinkled complexions
and others’ view interrupted by
the insistence of a child,
five ethereal fingers still swinging one lone palm branch,
like wind chimes on a summertime porch,
long after the adults choose to stop.
This is prayer, I think.

“For the Lord our God,
He is strong to save,”
quotes the singer, three small tears
disguised and suspended between
wire-rimmed glasses and a face
that has seen too much.

There’s no grand entrance
and we can’t afford a saddle,
but you can sit on our coats;
always looking for an ending
when there simply isn’t one.

Easier Said

come on in, really
to a time meant to
be played with, a
drum’s snicker and a trumpet’s cry.
we need you, really,
and we want you, too.

come on out, really,
to rims that whisk
currents into miles traveled,
where Gravity pushes back your
whole pedal forward and
you thank Me for what
doesn’t come easy.

easier said,
but I’ll take it.