The Common Good
March-April 2003

A Collect for the City Desert

by Matt Humm | March-April 2003

for Ash Wednesday

As grey eyes adjust to the Darkness,
Minaret evergreens—nun-like—stand penguine,
with stars peeking through like little popes.
The dance has begun—without direction, but intuition. Deliberately.
Left dreaming, the rain falls like fiery doves against street lights, and anoints the freshly
ashed brow.
Finally, illusion slows,
revealing the burning heart, beyond the paper-thin ethereal.
The sign for which holy men will kill,
and whores and drunks will love you.
It grants a foolishness that will polish your faith like a discarded tack—
and perfect it like water (which denied itself)
as Peter walked upon it.
Believe that it will be there to wake and flesh the bones
long after your breathing is left creaking like a gate
and your evangelistic endeavors include mostly birds and squirrels.
This is the night, this is the night.
The cup has not passed.

Matt Humm is a postulant in the Company of Jesus—an ecumenical Christian religious Third Order. He lives with his wife, Charity, in North Canton, Ohio.

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