Saints in Raincoats

March 6, 2011
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In summer
the boundaries separating my skin from the air are less defined
and I’m not quite sure where the aura of my body heat ends
and the heady, fragrant heat of the sun begins,
if at all.
But now, with the dankness of February lounging obstinately in the thin air
like a wet-furred stray cat mewing deliberately on my roof-top,
I feel as if I am drawn against the white mist
with a Chinese calligraphy brush dipped in black ink,
foreign and substantial.

My skull houses a bright room of sound and movement
As separate from the chill around it
as a red hot-air balloon sailing through cold clouds.
People trudging by with or without umbrellas
are ferry boats with lit windows
plowing past each other through a thick sea fog.
Around each head a is pulsing glow
like the sphere of light around a lantern in a dark alleyway
or the ring of glory that frames the painted faces
of medieval saints
only partially hidden
by the slick hoods of raincoats.

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