Monday, December 19, 2011

Winter Communion

                               Through a windshield fogged with rain
I see it:

A 14-foot high inflatable
Rubber cellular phone

Gray and whipped by wind
Lashed down with wire barbs
Of shining Christmas lights.

I’ve just come from Indian dinner
Served by a shy dark man
With a harelip and a sweet smile
Who “talked to the owner”
To get our puries free
This one time, only.

Well fed, I say,
At the breast of Mother India
On ghee and goat's milk
Rice, cumin and curry;

Still reverberating with sitar --
when this monstrous equipment
Rears off the sidewalk at me.

They say that in the Russian Middle Ages
Huge bronze bells were cast
In pits
And raised on ropes
To ring out over the steppes
In direct communication
With God.

But this unholy conjunction
Of Christian holiday
And gizmo gigantism, now –

With what god
Of what infernal region
Might it hope to speak?

I reach for the barfi milkcakes
In the box beside me
On the seat.

O Sweet Mother India!
I suckle at your breast;
Shall sleep against it, tonight

While my soul flies out
A long reverberation
On the dark, sharp air

Crying out praises
Through the crystal cells
Of the body of  this
O so holy night.

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