The mystics say to dig, hammer the cloud, day
and night. That the act of gazing at the long obsidian
robe of God undresses unknowing. I have descended
one mile underground down a mine shaft
in the back of a pickup and there was no adjusting
of the eyes, only the coal oblivion of open veins. I
have tracked the dark nebula at the foot of the Crux
600 light-years from earth and I cannot penetrate
your meaning, swathed in opaque interstellar cloud
which sweeps light away with dust of loss,
blackness of grief. I cannot pierce
the absence to find a single ray. I am always imploring
you to tell me, beloved, if you have left me forever?
I scrabble the seam of your silence. You blot the belly
of earth, hollow the cosmos; you ink the endless empty
patches, you sharpen my unseeing eyes so I slip
the stars. You hew vast space for yourself in my narrow
atoms. I dimly carry this sparking quarry which slides
through my sieved soul. I am always asking you to untie
your sack of stars, all while here there are diamonds.
Previously published in America Magazine
Photo by Gary Scott on Unsplash
As the Coalsack Nebula merely obscures stars in the Milky Way, so the apparent divine absence is only an obscuring of the presence we experience through faith. Thanks, Laura!