The Common Good
December 2008

Imperfection

by Rachel Guido deVries | December 2008

Imperfection is the place where the spirit enters,
the small hole in your shirt, the loosening threads
of carpet, the ache in your soul for forgiveness.

Imperfection is the place where the spirit enters,
the small hole in your shirt, the loosening threads
of carpet, the ache in your soul for forgiveness.
Where the camel waits, where the eye strays,
where the hand reaches up, empty of all but breath,
is the place where the soul begins, its gravity mightier
than we may ever know. There, where the rug unravels
like a rope of time, where pockets bleed their secrets
between the seams. In a widow’s eyes words appear
lit up like stars in a deep sky: If God is all we believe,
soul and sorrow and bliss, the soul is stone and lattice,
ligature and air, and it lives in the body’s secret lapses.
How grateful then to know imperfection’s door swinging
open and closed, how good to be humbled.

Rachel Guido deVries teaches creative writing in New York. Her most recent collection of poems is The Brother Inside Me (Guernica Editions, 2008).

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