To be lost in a man is to find his ruin
nestled within him,
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,
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.