WIDE STEPS UP (FOR JOHN GIORNO)
Shifting scale of persons to surroundings The white rocks shrink and grow
Gravely in the night
This earth cannot live without holy rites.
Lots of hills to climb up and down.
A straight ravine between the friars.
Turn to the right
And you will fall to the left.
One pilgrim wears a beard
Down to his chest
But love hates coverings.No gloss is allowed
And prefers to be seen and, if despised,
To melt away quickly.
To weaken the bliss of scripture.
Fanny Howe has written poetry, fiction, and essays; her most recent book is The Needle’s Eye from Graywolf Press.