Saturday, April 3, 2021

I Am Not

My name was Simon—“listen” in Hebrew—
and so I did, but listened with my heart.
I heard the subtle voice of Truth within,
upon which rock I became Peter.
And on that rock, perhaps, I let myself
recline too easily, that when it shook,
when I was told I would not—could not—follow,
I fell instead. I could not hear the Truth,
but now only my own, my outer, voice
felling that church as if it were mere stone.
“Are you that man’s disciple?” I am not.
Three times, and with every repetition,
I undo myself. Another piece of rock,
of my reality, crumbles away,
as I hear myself declaring I am not
the only thing I ever truly was.
Three times denying, withering, and dying,
three times, before the crowing of the cock,
recalling His words, breaks into my despair
to save me from myself, and all I find
that’s left of me is tears. But now how long,
how long must I remain what I am not
before I hear again, and know, I am?
Three lifetimes, even, must be insufficient
to rebuild from nonexistence. And yet, Three days,
He said. Destroy this temple, and in three days
I will raise it up again.
What temple?
What temple is there left to be restored
but that within my heart? Where are the stones
that I can gather, that I can give to show
that Builder that, yes, I am still Peter,
when—as He must—when—oh, at last!—He comes?

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