"I am here, Lord"
Mark D. Bennion

Ananias (Acts 9:10)

Tonight in the gall
of wonder, I remember
his eyes, at once two pits and torches,
scales gleaming in all that blindness,
my fingers trembling on his head.
Those pits return in the full light of day
when I’m alone with heat
and parchment dry as stone. They return
me to the gate, to the home of Judas
at Derb el-Mustaqim, bright as swords
or Roman shields left
under the afternoon sun. He returns
in dreams like he’s crossing
the Galilee, the passage
of one teacher to another, the wool cloth
wound into a blanket, the camel
leaving the wilderness to drink. I want

to believe in the water’s silver purge,
in the simultaneous burial and shimmer of flesh,
in the quick rending of the heart, the hearts
of those I presume to know
and try to shake from the altar of regret,

yet how I expect the taut brow of history
and hesitate when approaching what’s undone,
plowed, and clean,
what’s full of foundation and witness,
that even my mind looks for traces
of what used to be. He who once
came to bind, who came like hail
out of season, now winds like sweet grass
leaning toward the sea—this lion ready
to run. His increase tugs at my praise and envy



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