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Imposition

This soot-dark smear
across the brow, between the eyes,
will lead you, if the way be clear,
through all the endless winter of our year,
toward an elemental table, the tears
and savage hubbub of that agonizing garden,
the treacherous courtyard, hilltop, nails and spear,
the cry, the dark descending fear,
and then another garden with a cave
and such an austere emptiness
will fill the rest of history
with clear resounding alleluias.