The Common Good
September-October 1998

For the Love of Saints

by Mil Norman Risch | September-October 1998

The sky shifts pinks of light through louvered fingers...

The sky shifts pinks of light through louvered fingers
And in your hair the wind's like smoothing fingers.

No stained glass truth bleeds colors framed and patterned:
The tracing of this frame you drew with fingers.

Here rhythms evangelical belong
Where sounds of vowels stroke wounds like bruising fingers.

From beds of reds pull tulips by sheer handfuls
But in the vase arrange the blooms in fingers.

Give in, give in, to Gabriel's round lips!
And wetting each, blow every fluted finger!

I would whisper Jesus from his lonely bed;
New manuscripts I'd fold in Matthew's fingers.

No gospel love pours out of hands like oil
The way my words for you seep through these fingers.

How do you braid sixteen fingers in four hands?
The trick? She weaving yours, you weaving hers.

Sounds save us, too, as they seduce.
And ye shall find the babe in music's fingers.

So hold me, hands stained not with sin but juice:
Just as I am, hold berry-bloodied fingers.

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