To The Garden

Whose breath rolled the stone away?
Who entered the tomb to discover
brightness in the vacuum?
It was you.
You who opened the sepulcher of silence,
troubling the sun that sleeps in bone dust.
Before first light in the garden of your body,
hear the sound of the Magdalene's breath.
Mistake it for a thrush, for that too is wisdom,
just as She mistakes her Beloved for a gardener.
And when you're bewildered enough,
She'll whet the blade of your inhalation,
cleaving your ripe heart in two,
one chamber for her, the other for you.
Resonance demands a wounding.

Now the dead poet, Jesus,
wanders through this vineyard of bruises
plucking remnants of the harvest
from the trellis in your ribs.
He is famished, unhoused.
He wants his bone hammer back,
to be a carpenter again.
Isn't it time to let him know
what he has become:
the nameless warmth in your marrow,
generous as morning?
You are the bud, he is the season.
The invisible nectar of his lips
has empowered you.
His faintest exhalation makes the Eye
of Andromeda condense
like mist on the windowpane
of your abyss.
You are his whisper now,
your quietest prayer a whirler
of constellations.
You are the sound that the Magdalene hears
in the garden at dawn
when she is too amazed to answer.
You call her with the music
of the clustered hive,
the honey-makers murmuring,
“Ameen, Ameen.”
Your task is only to surrender,
pervade, un-imagine distances.
You are the way to the garden now.
You are the opening of the gate
that was never closed.

This poem was read today at the international conference on Mary Magdalene and the Tree of Life, sponsored by Mythica Foundation, 2/19/23. Painting of Magdalene by Caravaggio.

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