Monday, August 5, 2019

Parable by Carl Phillips

There was a saint once,
he had but to ring across
water a small bell, all
manner of fish
rose, as answer, he was
that holy, persuasive,
both, or the fish
perhaps merely
hungry, their bodies
a-shimmer with
that hope especially that
hunger brings, whatever
the reason, the fish
coming unassigned, in
schools coming
into the saint’s hand and,
instead of getting,
becoming food.
I have thought, since, of
your body—as I first came
to know it, how it still
can be, with mine,
sometimes. I think on
that immediate and last gesture
of the fish leaving water
for flesh, for guarantee
they will die, and I cannot
rest on what to call it.
Not generosity, or
a blindness, trust, brute
stupidity. Not the soul
distracted from its natural
prayer, which is attention,
for in the story they are
paying attention. They
lose themselves eyes open.

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