16 Dec 2018 poem

Room Made Of Whispers

I waited on my knees
for the church to stop spinning.

Others waited with me.
They remained quiet as they waited.

My waiting slanted.
The slant of a breath held tight between pressed hands.

The altar spun at a different rate
than the crucifix behind it,

than the flowers in front of it,
than the carpet rushing toward my face.

A luminous prayer appeared.
A luminous prayer escaped the spinning.

The ecstatic light stabilized
into an apparition of Leonard Cohen

singing “Suzanne” beside the flowers
beside the river of Sunday prayers

that linger in the sanctuary and the vestibule
waiting for truly human ears to hear beneath the water.

I began to listen to the drapes and the wooden pews—
those places that prayers settle

while waiting to be taken up.
Not to heaven, but into the faithful

who place the communion in community,
who feel like a blessing as they appear,

when their brightness fortifies the floor
and this devilish disorientation ceases.

copyright © 2018 Kenneth P. Gurney



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