Oh Bitterness, Sweet

Today I kneel at the altar of bitterness
and bring it white rose petals, honey,
ripe pomegranate seeds. These things

as imaginary as the altar, but I kneel here
anyway, hands full of empty, heart full of love,
glass full of pure water, cactus all around.

This part real as the sun and the sunlight, too.
I ask for help. I want mercy. I offer it
all that I am, all that I ever was. All day,

I kneel, awkward, as if some great light might wreathe
me in spontaneous serenity, as if a great bird
might alight on my arm and speak. It is as if

I believe in miracles, like forgiveness, like
hope. And sometimes I do. No bird comes.
No sudden wind. No sign except the sky,

which never leaves me. In fact the longer I stare
into the unending blue, the more it seems to open.
Oh bitterness, I come undone. I untangle.

I bend. I will not leave. There is more to give.


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