Hymn III — Of Birds & Vapor

by Brian Fuchs

Before knowing there existed peace.
Innocent children don't long for the touch of others.
I'm reflecting on bird calls,
sorting out in my mind the ones that seem familiar
from the ones that are new.
Except for the mockingbirds —
their song has changed as much as I have.
I can barely tell the difference between
childish pursuits and adult desires.
Except for skin.

I find myself a poor litmus test of what I want,
what I remember wanting.
Whispers in my ear from the past — or is it the future?
I'm forgetting things I thought were important.
I don't remember the smell of skin pressed against
my face as I sleep.
I'm trying to remember how close I can get to the sun
without tumbling to the ground. Have I reached that limit?

The men are turning to vapor, mists deposited in a pensieve
filled with what I choose to remember as unbridled passion.
I'm searching through windows for faces,
for quiet morning sun spilling in through panes,
spotlighting the drifts of dust as they dance
like a great flock of tiny birds.

It feels like he's still standing there, if was ever standing there,
eating cherries on the front porch,
spitting the pits out into the garden.
I am thinking about fruity cereal.
I am thinking about the taste of cherries lingering in his mouth.
I am thinking about birds and music and sex and dust.
I am thinking about the faces, the many overlooked faces.
I am thinking about vaporizing.

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
calling for you and for me;
see, on the portals he's waiting and watching,
watching for you and for me.


Author's Note: This is a rewrite of a poem from 2001.

Posted on 08/30/2018
Copyright © 2020 Brian Fuchs

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