Are you aching? The poet held my hand
at the edge of the world’s smallest village.
Think of pain as a plane. She wanted me
to forgive what I couldn’t forgive.
Only the side door to the Assumption
of Mary was unlocked—she knelt
at the Virgin’s painted feet and prayed,
and I took pictures of a crucified Jesus
in a fishbowl under the alter table.
She wanted me to love the man
I couldn’t love. It may take a year.
Outside, she translated, word for word,
a Lithuanian saying: ‘When you fall
down drunk, the ground will catch you.’
My god is no god but the God
of Human Will. I needed the poet’s prayer,
I wanted her to will my forgiveness
to bloom. A bruise is a plane:
I fell, the ground caught me, I got up.