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Theology for the [Blessed] Damned

“What the hell? I think. So, I ask,

“What about all the unlived lives we imagine?”

You glance up from something you’re knitting—

weird. (You never knitted when you were alive).

The needles are very long, about two feet, silver

and sharp like ice picks.

“It’s easy,” you reply and dump the black

cloth in a heap next to you. It looks like it could

be a sack holding a small body, an animal or something else…

You grasp my hand, and we’re skipping through a field of yellow grasses.

You sing this jingle as if it is a nursery rhyme that I should know,

“Just down the lane, behind the potting shed, near the asparagus patch

shelters a bed of Earth that is of this world and naught, at all.

Green blade, dew drop, mushroom, lady bug, and rot

mark this place as blessed cursed.”

“Here.” We stop under a Hawthorn (May-tree)

and you commence digging with your bare hands.

I’m afraid that your nails will break because of the ferocity of

your activity. The aroma of frankincense and cinnamon arises

from the depression. You dig and dig until finally

you mine a pallid tuber the size of an apricot.

“You’ll have to plant this in the shade of an oak tree

during the dark of the moon-- Ben Franklin said so

in his almanac. Just leave it. You’ll know what

to do when the time comes.”

Glamour crisps vernal air from temperate to harsh.

A dog barks from an unknown location. Birds chirp at intervals.

A black fur ball scampers into the cavity beneath the tree.

You reach in and retrieve your skein and needles.

Apparently, you prick yourself when you do this,

but you don’t seem to notice the blood.

“Pick one,” you smile and present a basket of threads.

I drop my hand into the fuzz and stir three times.

Softness twines around my fingers and hand

until a glove is knitted onto my skin.

Wrought into the fabric on the palm is this scribble: Wyrd.

“Take it off whenever you wish.

It’s just a bit of thread,” you offer.

I need to be sure of this, so I slip it off,

and hang it on a branch of the tree.

“See? It waves in eternity.”

I squint at you sideways, and

effulgence halos your crown.

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