8.20.2003

Simon Peter

I hear roosters in the distance,
And I can feel my weight sway
On the loose footing,
Like sand washing up in the tide,
And I fight it;
I fight the moon and its gravity,
And the changing winds
That whisper, in the distance,
Of coming storms.
A denial for every day in the grave
Or, perhaps, a day in the grave
For every denial.
I might as well be buried now,
Alive or dying,
Headstone reading: "Simon -
The house on the ocean,"
For I am too good even for sand.
Is there sarcasm in a name?
I'm sure he felt it so,
As he sank into the water,
His eyes turned from salvation.
Of all the names . . .
And he must have wondered,
As I often do,
What rock feels like under the feet,
At the equating of houses and faith,
At the wise men, unswept away.
Were they the crumb in the corner
That God couldn't reach,
Or were they just well-hidden,
Transparent to reveal only linoleum?
I wonder if they build
Sand castles in Israel
And what they call them,
For I feel no part my name,
As Doubt becoming Rock,
And think perhaps a rename
Would be appropriate,
If I could only pinpoint
My exact inadequacies
And weep bitterly at my weakness,
Which is not at all Manly,
And I wonder at the irony
Of such a name, a part
I can't act well it seems,
At least, not when it seems to matter.

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