for the monks
Father Constantine returns
from Mount Athos with ashes.
They are magic, he says, it’s a mystery.
I am thirteen, ready to marry, pledge
my dreams to a monk or nothing.
I want a spouse who can never
appreciate the world in me.
I want a simple man who will leave
his girl for incense, or vespers.
I want his kind in all its variations:
an anchorite or cave-dweller who lives
inside a hole god blew into rock for
no reason; a stylite who perches atop
the capitol of a ruined temple to pray without
ceasing; a dendrite who chains himself
to the upper branches of a massive tree and sings
like a sparrow; a stalagmite who goes
up or grows down, depending
on heaven’s whim.
I want Him to crush me.
I nourish this canyon in my head
for the man in a long black dress
who can’t love me enough.