Up so many times from death
I disbelieve she stands,
blood dripping from the sightless eye,
Heaving and breathing yes,
But no cries
in the plain of light
Of sneezes of blood so great
Or seizures eject quark
That cover walls
As the eye drips blood.
I thought it was a health condition
until yesterday in the winter sun
the light of afternoon caught the pearl,
the blood pearl in its track as it cycled to the ground.
Those drops of blood fell from the communion cup.
These shine like the surface of a river at dawn.
I thought it was a health condition, the Berean brain swelling,
or mucus made by bacteria, but after CAT scans and operations
and continuing prayer and anointings with oil of prayer,
invocations loosed upon the bulging head
while the spirit suffered like a noble there,
came this succession of healings, recoveries,
fallings and rise, blood sprays followed by appetite,
sprained feet, outgrown toenails followed by walks,
yes, the head down a little, but breathing and walking
and talking to her those days, weeks, months that stretch a year.
I see it is not a health condition
but a stigmata of thee.
That she should live on our street!
That each night she would rise to drink
from the cold bucket she prefers,
or lay in with that red black coat in the grass
sometimes with her head up and not unconsciousness,
even if some days she sleeps now till noon;
For when the seizures leave her exhausted,
after she recovers and walks about the house or yard,
she sleeps a little more, but hungers
morning noon and night for life and food.
Stigmata of the left eye. What has it seen of our time?
Leaves traces on the floor. Immaculate.
He wanted to fix my truck but I wanted to remember
the dents in the side put there that fourth of July.
He wanted to fix the front bumper but I wanted to remember
where my son drove it into a wall.
He wanted to fix the back gate where my wife
backed into another car at the music store.
I didn’t care either way.
But nobody wanted to fix the broken frame
partly restraightened after the hit and run,
the fenders repaired.
Nobody even knew they were there.
She was subject
to the fire of battle
in my arms,
in the mountain,
by the sea valley,
in the garden long,
beside the beach
and after youth in age
when leaves fell suddenly for three days
and she drew back the white curtains with frost,
Antares of rocks,
trumpets of elk,
owls suspended in air,
wide eyed among the Madrones.
Andrew Reiff wrote Celestial Plant or Terrestrial Star
, the root of correspondence in the biblical metaphors for the man, plant, star relation. He did a study of American voyages, “Restorations of the Golden Age in New World Discoveries,” and a book of verse called “A Calendar of Poems, Encouragements for Such as Shall
Have Intention to Be Undertakers in the Planting,” which title indexes his later writing.