by Andrew J. Calis
Greens and blues, the yellow light turns red
spreading itself across the floor of the chapel.
And warms through the window. Winter ended
only yesterday; I cannot yet tell
myself, this is it, unprepared
to see what I already see: that man
is made of dust. Moses dared
to look into the face of God. He demanded
to know God’s unpronounceable name. But
he had to know it. Who could speak
the largeness of the Lord? — who stilled flood
waters with a word, whose thoughts could creak
to life the stone-still world? What mouth could
shape itself to that unending shape,
hold in it bread as life, as man, as blood? —
it falls on me like dust, the broken light, great
shadows, the light that blinds.
Andrew J. Calis is a Palestinian-American poet, teacher, husband, and father of four. His first book of poetry, Pilgrimages (Wipf & Stock, 2020), was praised by James Matthew Wilson for having “the intensity of Hopkins” and for “layer[ing] light on light in hopes of helping us to see.” His work has appeared in America, Dappled Things, Presence, Convivium and elsewhere and he teaches at Archbishop Spalding High School in Maryland.