By Patrick T. Reardon
Eternal, puzzle us,
puzzle us clockwork apart and put us
back together, create/re-create, Eternal,
cycle us and puzzle us to ourselves,
puzzle us revelations long withheld.
Puzzle the lost phone at McDonald’s, a
sort of life without electricity touch,
eye blink, incense and wet dung, coat
buckle clocking wood pew in cave-tall
church, taste of broken bread.
Puzzle grubs and snits, moist soil where
the bell tulip rots, yellow stem sticks,
maze of mourning, the dead and the
quick, the blueshadow seed grown brittle,
church of chaos decay, headquarters of
biological commerce, the last first and
so on, corpse of the lucifer rose, of the
waltzing lily, of the red-wing gnat, alpha,
omega, bang and whimper, lost souls,
survival of and so on, quiver and still,
ignored passion, crucifixion, rising,
scripture, itch, whisper below her
white-on-white hemline and her notice.
Puzzle us, Eternal, jigsaw lost tribes,
communion of saints.
Puzzle our father, the tapped rock that
spouted no water, the sea that never
parted, the frozen divine flame, the bush
brittle and thick with thorns.
Puzzle the patient: “I was put here for you
to help. Will you help me? Will you take
away my dreams? Do you dream? You are
filling up with dreams like a balloon. You
start to rise awkwardly. I hold my breath.
I wait for you to explode.”
Eternal, puzzle the
babel: “Arrow the
lust. Wrestle the
stone. Weigh dust.”
Puzzle the bony boy in the last
desk in the window row who, with nun not
noticing, pressed point of canary yellow
Crayola on silver rust radiator skin and
watched river of wax sinuate down cast
iron and red violet next and mountain
meadow green and navy blue, each an
Illinois, a Missouri, an Ohio, feeding a gray
Mississippi emptying to drear gulf of boredom.
Eternal, puzzle us, empty of epiphany,
lusting for a full belly of understanding.
Patrick T. Reardon
This poem originally appeared in Meat For Tea, Volume 14, Issue 1, March 2020.