Psalm 183

by Joseph Zitt

Pardon me if I seem to cop an attitude
But the attitude is one of worship
And is, I think, sincere.
My heart swells
against the prison of my ribs
And grows to keep my lungs from seeking air.
Still the breath is not pushed out
By such a simple force as pride
But by the glory of my dreaming
That I might, perhaps, be loved
By you.

Pardon me if I'm moved to endless chatter
But I fear that the beauty of the silence,
As I watch your distant eyes
Caress the words I have arranged
As atonement, on the page, as sacrifice,
Might cause my soul to rise
Above this flesh
And leave inert these hands
With which I spell these prayers
Against your thighs.

Pardon me;
I burden you with too much honour.
I know you are no goddess,
Simply human,
Still alive.
The others who I prayed would love me
Ran,
Or else I was the one to run.
And yet their cracked reflections
Howl to me from pools of molten glass
Within my hidden pantheon.
I know you've missed perfection,
But your quirks and flaws
Are not personal betrayals,
But are the marks left
By the kiss of angels,
Allowing you to live within
This far too real world.

Pardon me if these songs of praise defile you
But I'll try to keep my hosannahs
To a quiet whisper,
And try, as I stroke your face,
Not to inscribe the Holy Name upon your brow,
Not to believe that you are both
Creator and Creation
And that you, therefore,
Must obey my will.
For as I rest
My head upon your shoulder
My lips against your throat,
I read your pulse as the rhythm
Of the rushing of the waves,
Your breaths as the passage
Of clouds against a bright and empty sky,
The gentle motion of your breasts
As the soft processional of continents,
As, within this dark and silent world,
We define
A temporary world of our own.

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