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"Marrying Outside the Faith"
Anya Krugovoy Silver

Choosing you, I forfeited my wedding crown, the thrice-
circled altar, the Slavic hymns that rise and fall at Vespers

like stippled swallows’ wings. For you, I lost the red
and liquid breath of God inside my throat. Seasons turn

differently, not marked by the altar’s changing silks,
the wooden body of Christ carried at Lent from the cross.

The kisses of forgiveness, weekly bows of lip to icon
or sudden crook to knee. Thumb and finger’s cruciform.

For me, you forfeited the splintered wedding glass and children
born into the faith with smearing of placental blood.

Choosing me, you gave up the shofar’s moan at new moon’s turn,
pockets emptied into water, the sukkah’s fruited beams,

the Hebrew prayers your great-grandfather the cantor died chanting,
God’s name bound around his wrists. Kaddish’s stoop and bend.

When curtains draw, we'll learn to move by touch and sound:
by the flame that cowls the mantel's candle, the crackle of leaves

crushed at the dimmed path's edge. We'll share bread between our teeth.
In certain Russian icons, a sheet of silver sheaths the painted wood.

But always, the artist cuts holes over Christ's face and hands,
releasing from metal those dark oval eyes, the human fingers' faithful kiss.


On this day in...
2011: "Fingers" by Ted Hughes
2010: "Privliges (for Christina)" by Eireann Corrigan
2009: "For a Student Sleeping in a Poetry Workshop" by David Wagoner
2008: Weekend, no poem

Remind us over and over that we deserve/to drink even the milk left over in the cereal bowl, to sop up/what's left on our plates with bread.

Comments

flashfly
Jun. 20th, 2012 03:01 am (UTC)
I liked this.

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