To be lost in a man is to find his ruin

nestled within him,

a barn-owl

trapped in the rafters mid-winter

until it gives in to solitude, sleep.

To find his betrayals, small swailings

inside him; how the coals

of his first eighteen Octobers crackle now low

in his throat, the embers singing

themselves into smoke. To see through him: the boy,

his hair wet & parted—a shimmering fish

pulled out of ice-water. Not holy, not yet

beautiful. Not shaking but shaken,

but found.

To be lost when you’ve heard his bad echo;

the way his feet carry on

as he carries it daily, carries it

with both hands. How for you, he practices holding

& turning a sound

to new worship—

let it rise on its own & it rises:

unhurried, lopsided, like bread.

And how he arrives at your door after midnight

with the smell of a field

you’ve once walked as a child, the way it opened itself

completely, one Jessamine at a time.

& this might be all he knows

of devotion; the way his hands move through his sleep,

tracing small rosaries in the air.

This is the wild of your life & you watch him

as David was watching Bathsheba

drifting on the roof by herself

with Uriah, away in besieged Rabbah,

fallen on his sword

& David knowing, watching— lost

entirely in the woman: not holy, never

holy. Only bathing, beautiful

& naked enough to be found.