by Ben Read
On the Passion Façade of La Sagrada Familia,
Christ hangs like a hook. The eyes of the apostles,
carved in angular, blocky swaths of stone,
deepen with shadows as the sun moves
over their faces. Sandstone is somehow
the source of a crooning cry.
The pigeons feast, their fat necks
slick with light, pink and green, their bellies
full of fruit from the baskets of corn and berries
atop the sacristy. Sacristy. Some preparation
for God. What vestments do I lack?
What languages must I stumble over
like beer spills from the rim of the glass? Latin?
Love? So much lies between myself
and God. I have built a wall. I have built
an obstacle course of satires and schticks,
vanities and manners of speech. A hundred blasphemies.
The light, blue as an easy goodbye.
Yellow as the plates in your cupboard,
shame spreads like warmth between my hands
as I fear you will see me praying.
I want to say it all, want to spill through the window
onto the hardwood floor. I want to be the warm plank
under your feet. A quiet already broken
and easier because of it. A quiet for sandwiches.
The Passion Façade was finished years after Gaudi died.
To the left of the door, one man leans into another,
his lips near his ear. What is a kiss if not a secret?
That this is a singular love among many.
That faith has no sum, and green
will set the alleys alight with rain.