That first chalkboard, first box full of letters–
black as the swallowing between my first name and last,
the nun’s habit, and the rosary beads pressed to her lips
and all that dust that’s stayed with me, the tiles
I unpiled and applied to my defiling thoughts,
uncertain what word would complete me
once no longer pinned down by this finger.
The apples I tried making flesh in my mouth
and the trees that grew up through my throat.
Or even the yellowing leaves I’d exiled to hell
thinking I was able to talk my way through this
when my attempts were more cod-bone, this gasp.
For how did one spell “W” or manage Cassiopeia’s hem,
sound out this God looking in through the window, resisting?
Back at recess we’d be pressing transistors to our ears, unable
once again, to do a thing against Gibson and his fastball.
I’d only be making out space, the lisped pronouncements of Jesus.
While my slip-ups multiplied like the loaves once again.