Strangers

So close I can almost
hear your pulse.

I look into your eyes.
And yet

I do not really know you—
shadow-beings,

like light-blind strangers
behind dark windshields

of two cars
passing in the night.

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The Suitor by Jane Kenyon

4cdae-kenyon

We lie back to back. Curtains
lift and fall,
like the chest of someone sleeping.
Wind moves the leaves of the box elder;
they show their light undersides,
turning all at once
like a school of fish.
Suddenly I understand that I am happy.
For months this feeling
has been coming closer, stopping
for short visits, like a timid suitor.

–Jane Kenyon

James Woods: Woods Gets Religion

Church in Country

Woods Gets Religion
(for Paul Zimmer)

Our church had no theology,
no saints but plenty of sinners,
no confessional but a cold baptistery.
Communion once a year, but cold
chicken and potato salad every
Bible meeting. The Book was ironbound
to be struck on, and sparks flew
from Hell revealed. Some wag
put a chicken leg in the offering,
the plate was passed so many times.
O Helen of the Organ, I chose
the Baptist Church for your
deep eyes, and your sweet tongue
was the only wafer I could not wash down.

–James Woods