after the night has ended, before
the sun rises I sit and think about
believing. something, anything to believe.
stories like my own, told by someone
who can tell them better than I can.
everyone else has long gone home,
likely sleeping off the memories
of bad jokes and misunderstandings
quiet quarrels, fighting words
wisely left deep in the throat.
but I am awake with the cricket,
with the moon whose crater filled
face reminds me of the boulders
in central park. I’ve never been
but I wouldn’t mind going. Earth
science taught me that they were
dropped by glaciers during the ice age,
an unwanted child, left on the steps
of a church it would help build.
there are so many unwanted ones
in new york. outcasts from one place
or another looking to build their temple
in the sand, where it may unscramble
the riddles of piety. where it may
crumble to the satisfaction of
its attendants, releasing all the
mystery of mysticism that
the orthodox would follow.
tearing the labels of the label maker
is the birthright of those who
have been reborn in exodus.
baptized in exile, who have refused
to be exercised of their demons.
because what is a demon?
is it not the forgotten child,
carrying its message long
after the glacier has melted?
is it not the outcast, left to clean
the nails from Calvary and going home
with his nails painted red;
his hands, drenched in salvation.