Rachel Arribas


Psalm 183 by Joseph Zitt (1990) Pardon me if I seem to cop an attitude But the attitude is one of worship And is, I think, sincere. My heart swells against the prison of my ribs And grows to keep my lungs from seeking air. Still the breath is not pushed out By such a simple force as pride But by the glory of my dreaming That I might, perhaps, be loved By you. Pardon me if I'm moved to endless chatter But I fear that the beauty of the silence, As I watch your distant eyes Caress the words I have arranged As atonement, on the page, as sacrifice, Might cause my soul to rise Above this flesh And leave inert these hands With which I spell these prayers Against your thighs. Pardon me; I burden you with too much honour. I know you are no goddess, Simply human, Still alive. The others who I prayed would love me Ran, Or else I was the one to run. And yet their cracked reflections Howl to me from pools of molten glass Within my hidden pantheon. I know you've missed perfection, But your quirks and flaws Are not personal betrayals, But are the marks left By the kiss of angels, Allowing you to live within This far too real world. Pardon me if these songs of praise defile you But I'll try to keep my hosannahs To a quiet whisper, And try, as I stroke your face, Not to inscribe the Holy Name upon your brow, Not to believe that you are both Creator and Creation And that you, therefore, Must obey my will. For as I rest My head upon your shoulder My lips against your throat, I read your pulse as the rhythm Of the rushing of the waves, Your breaths as the passage Of clouds against a bright and empty sky, The gentle motion of your breasts As the soft processional of continents, As, within this dark and silent world, We define A temporary world of our own.

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