To love and lose; to love and
get rid of. But the dove could find
nowhere to perch because there was water
over all the surfaces of earth; it returned
to Noah. Heartshine melts into moonlight
weak, too weak, too pale to sustain
anything but the rising and falling tides. Listen!
I slept but my heart was awake. The water
creeps over the shore, past the pleasant lines
drawn by wisdom’s happy mind. My beloved knocks:
Open to me, my sister, my darling
dove, flawless one. My head is drenched with dew,
my hair with the dampness of night.
Bloodrivers twine through our bodies and around
our bones. As Jesus was coming
up out of the water, he saw heaven
being torn open and the Spirit descending
on him like a dove. But Abram said, Sovereign
Lord, how can I know? Because our bodies are full
of blood and of quiet things
that whisper in hisses. So the Sovereign
Lord said to him, Bring me a three-year-old heifer,
a goat, ram, dove, and young pigeon.
Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two, arranging
the halves opposite each another; the birds, however,
he did not cut in half. The bride readies herself,
pinning the coils of her hair.
Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses,
but Abram drove them away.