Archive for the ‘kenosis’ Category

Kenosis and Liberation

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

For Pesach and Holy Week, an older poem of mine, engaging the great festivals in a slantwise way:

Francis and the Leper
(for Richard Rohr)

They both stank (it was not
a time obsessed with odorlessness).
Doubtless both were frightened:
the God-besotted penitent

embracing what he most loathed,
his rotting confessor shrinking
from unaccustomed intimacy,
which could only bring new shame.

Afterward, the leper vanished,
his role over, the news delivered.
I, though, still see him incarnately
embraced, midwife to a saint’s

liberation. So, my body tells me,
Francis sees, too; the first wounds
of crucifixion invisibly gracing him
in that awkward kiss. I wonder,

did the merchant’s son,
drawing back at last, gaze
astonished at the fading shimmer
where his parting lips had pressed

beneath those startled, milky eyes
and honey-crusted sores?
Was it there he discovered
an escape from long captivity,

scanned the unfurling
wilderness of his wandering,
and glimpsed, as from a mountain,
the perilous land of promise?