February 19, 2011

The Name

A name written in sand
by a child's hand
On a San Quentin prison wall
by an inmate's fingernail;
in blood stains
on doorposts;
in small-print footnotes
in dissertations

A name tattooed on aged skin
adjacent to thorns and blood
Etched in the collective memory
of survivors of the storm

A name spoke over heads
sung over bodies
both dead and alive
or over those immersed in water

A named breathed out
at the moment of death
carried on butterflies wings
to the cusp of paradise

A name on quivering lips
of a shell-shocked combat soldier
alone in a foxhole
while bullets lacerate the air
A name squeezed out in chopping coughs
through clenched and chipped teeth

A name whispered by a widowed woman
Who mourns the loss of her spouse
A name cried in murmured lament
over the pain in a child's death

A name given to
Something that once
had no name

Between desire
Between pain
Between fire
Between blame
Jesus Christ
Paradise regained

The name above all names
echoing in the halls and corridors of eternity

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