These Faces of Ours



Everyone walks around with
faces of lovers of God, everyone,
young, old, grumpy, delighted, enraged,
empurpled with
rage, reddened with violent temper, drink,
despair, eyes like acetylene, blowtorch tongue and
nozzle nose, forehead like
perpetual landslide, no,

absolutely everyone,
cherubic and winsome, eyes bright as
flying saucers over sunlit skies in Chicago,
hands delicately rubbing fuzzy cheeks,

everyone walks around with faces of
creatures who know the true source of all
pain and pleasure,
each blood vessel a periscope gazing across the
sea of God’s bliss,
each vein a tributary from the swollen river of
God’s Glory, all these

beloved faces, going along their way, so
preoccupied, whisking past without
eye contact, mouths quiet but invisibly
engaged in continuous dialog,

but look!
Out of the womb, those fresh
faces of new fruit, eyes clenched, puckered
cheeks and chins, how they
slowly flatten out like sheets of
foolscap for writing on, and they
do get written on,
by quill pens a mile long held by
angels who scribble and scribble on our
faces day and night, awake and asleep,

eye-twinkles, mouth-wriggles, nose
twitches, furrowing of
brow, harrowing of
gaze, then the
sudden relaxation as of giant
mammals broken free from sea depths, suddenly
exultant in earthly sunlight,

faces of love or forlorn expectation, darkened with
drugs or despair, a great
cloud passed over, rain pelting
down on drawn eyelids,

my own face this morning so hopeless,
feeling the set of mouth and
deadening of eyes — but we’re in

God’s aquarium, we’re
measured from His element, our
faces are puzzle-pieces in the
entire world-picture of His
love. And each
facial gesture shows it, each
exchange of facial message
a pure love letter written in physical longhand

to God.

Out of our faces great doves explode,
great stretches of grass and flamingos,
great pampas of the
mastodons, and out of our

glorious faces banners of light unfold, rippling
through night sky, making their
own aurora borealis for us
to see by, light shaking multi-colored curtains of light,

and out of every face on earth come
flares and water spray and volcanic eruptions
of purest essentialness,
moods of mist and enlightenment of
dusty texts tucked away in Syrian libraries,

tiny exchanges of wisdom so
minute even gnats feel comfortable circling around
in their light,

so vast no bald eagle ever gets tired wheeling
endlessly in their sky.

3/11/95 (from A Hundred Little 3D Pictures)

Categories: Poems, Saints / Awliyya, Cancer Treatment, Love