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Post Road Magazine #34

That June Morning

Michael Sowder

in 1989, Rome, Georgia, when I first looked upon
the face of God, I know the bells were ringing.
Shopkeepers looked up from their bills,
the librarian drew to the window,
the telephone lineman leaned back from his pole
and checked the time. Neighborhood dogs stopped barking
then all howled at once.  Mockingbirds opened their white-banded wings

the day Kali split the universe open like a pomegranate
and I saw the jeweled river running through it
with waters rinsed from the hair of God,

a morning when I, for an hour, lay on my bed,
arms spread, ocean breaths lifting my body,
while a girl I loved held my hand, asking,
What is it like?  And out of memory Kabir said,
I laugh when I hear that the fish in the water is thirsty! 
And she said, But is Jesus there? Is Jesus there?  
And I, who had died, sun-blinded,
and covered with the Beloved’s body
like a bear with its winter fat,
shouted that everything was there,
that everything was being held,
the dying trees and reefs and leopards,
for all our bodies, broken and whole, were the bodies of wings
the mouse, and the oriole, and the girl
playing hopscotch outside in the street.

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