Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Day 22--One of Several Hymn Riffs

All Saints Sunday, 2 Nov. 2003

“Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer
who makes the wounded heart to sing.”

--Schönster Herr Jesu!

Every severed but still beating muscle,
each incised or punctured chamber—

We know these sorts of hearts,
the central, bursting metaphor

grown tender, corroded with age.
The dead have lived through an uneven

song, a vicious singing that tears
pulses from the signature of time,

from habits so far from pure.
Every heart we have is blemished

by the everyday beating we take
and give to ourselves. What other

kind of figure but the heart
would need to be made, to be wounded,

to ache its way through its own
hard, clotted hymn?

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