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 Spirit Chimes

Resurrection in Albemarle County

They say dig two graves before you stalk
the ambrosial prize of revenge, and I did,
until my own grave appeared sweeter,

so I've come here to the mountain to hunt
the reclusive angels I suspect hoard serenity
for cases like me,
but so far I've only been baptized by waves of wind
and accepted into the order of everyday wonders,
even the wild ginger, the breathing field, the violets,
closer to any prayer I've ever attempted.

Yes, the world fractured us, and we can't unhear it
or unsee it and we certainly can't unfeel it and
there's no dismantling a tower so tightly
packed with rage.

A weathered flag hangs with defiance
from a dozing gray barn below the skyline—
the wheeling hawks aren't impressed, and the
colors of freedom look unconvincing
next to the evening sky: a commotion of
phosphorescence and peace. A grander finale
could not be of this world, but still
no angels, no rest.

So what's it like to to step out of the snickering
riddle of day and into the perfection
of nothing?

No wings, no answers needed there, just an
unremarkable and wandering now—
a motionless flight in all directions.

But still I'd rather thirst
than drink the courage . . .
So close.

Over there is a gift, a life actually,
tethered to unabashed joy and also its shadow;
after all, it's one current, one universe,
one thought.

The only catch:
Forgiveness is the only bridge out of here.

And all of Heaven holds its breath. So do the finches
and wrens in a cathedral of sound; so do the
mountains with their countless shades of happiness,
still unmoved in godly indifference; so do the
wasps fizzing in and out of shadow worlds; also
the territories of soul we have to believe in
or nothing makes sense.

No, I won't do it for my enemies, but I will for
the satin sleep I deserve, for the merciful death of
blistering blame, for a heart that doesn't twist and claw
itself to death a thousand times a day.

I take a step.

     So this is what it means to see.

Patricia Joan Jones

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