Once More to the Altar

The desert reaches into the sky
          On the third day Abraham looked up and saw…
bits of brown, stony ground; a path that wound up.
What we haven’t been through, we two.
Our hands, bound together,
I could not choose
how this day would end, I
had no choice but to walk.
         But where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
I can’t remember any more.
Was this before I knew I loved you?
          I know thou art a God-fearing man,
                    for thou hast not withheld thy son…
         Thine only son.
         For thou hast not withheld thy son…
Your death will ever be before my eyes
and the knife will ever be over my head,
suspended as the heavens over us both,
grazing, with the branches, my peripheral vision.
And you will always be warm under my fingertips,
naked, your innocence trusting.
And the knife will ever be over my head,
quivering in my hand,
every tightened muscle reminding me
of all I have to lose.



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