Poem: Holy Saturday in L.A.

The darkest day on earth was stone-dry and sunny,
light breeze, vain clouds behind their blue-veil screens and
not sure what to wear to the funeral.
Anything would do, I muttered
while squinting and wandering
past tile, concrete, fake lawns and
ugly fountains perfectly constructed as
ugly toads, spitting.

And the old stone church spit lies
out the back door,
some rogue organist playing God
by playing Christ
the Lord Is Risen Today
and I had to bite back a surging
Allelujah! and lenten blushing
amidst brashly assenting birdsong.

Jesus felt more dead
when I lived in Chicago,
where numbness crept early over me
along with the wet dark
and my shivering might have been theirs
as they stared at brick walls, waiting
for the rising star or falling crescent to
press through and tell the truth.

But here I am watching drought
transform dust only to dust –
nothing new under the mundane sun.
The miracle would be in the mud,
in the witness of darkness
salving our blighted eyes that believe
in life before resurrection
and vision before first light.

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