he could have walked
on water that’s why
I followed him
up the hill to pick lemons
for our vodka sodas naked
by the window a smoked
city in drought haloed
my body as he came
to me a tongue
of fire a rummage of wind
in the upper bedroom where
I said I will pour out
my spirit upon your flesh
he smiled and said I think
you’ve had too much new wine
then we rose up the dust rose up
to meet a night rain and the room
became rain falling over
the lifting steam a hymn
we would step into and become
part of its plainsong rise up
it sang you don’t have to
walk through this world
on your knees
as the words stood up in me
which is why I’ve come to tell you
where I have been and what I have seen
so you could look on me
and not be afraid
* * *
Thomas Dooley is the author of Trespass (Harper Perennial, 2014), selected by the National Poetry Series. He is a recipient of a 2017 James Merrill Poetry Fellowship and serves as Poet-in-Residence at New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center.
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