They choose silence, their petalsheld like tongues. Their stemsentangled, some are broken, otherssick with their own stiffness, theirown oily fragrance, with the swaycreated by the chancel fan and withthe white noise of the nave. Theydeny their own violence, opinionsfixed in pink. But finally one breaksthrough even her own infernal silence,won’t, in fact, shut up. She calls out tothe others boldly, Beatrice of the vase.
would you please rise for the readingof the Gospel?" is what the lectorforgets to say before she beginsreading the verses from Mark thissecond Sunday after Easter. A few of uswho are paying attention to traditionor to the asterisk in the bulletin beginto wobble to our feet. Maybe onegoody-two-shoes stands up strong tomake a statement, but most of us wait,chagrined by the sliding eyes and waveringpostures around us and in us, by ourfailure to remember, until we risetogether in honor of the resurrection.
Suddenly we find ourselves in love with fresh cilantro, both of us,and now we put it into everything— salsa, of course, but also into saladsand sides, and we find ourselves eating it all by itself and puttingthe fingers that have handled it, steadied it while we chopped it, upto our noses, breathing deep. The crispness of its leaf's becomean unexplained addiction, a mystery so citrusy, of scent or secret spice—and we are high on how it dawns in us anew each time we thinkto add it to the soup, and we're embarrassed by the way we feelbecause we both remember clearly another time, though not exactly when,in which we'd had a very pointed conversation and agreed we didn't like it in the least.
After the sorrow, the angerrises like dust, a mitewith its own life, its own mightyspirit, its power so buoyantand light that it's borne in the airlike war. After the mourning, the poemforms like mold, its greenspores a wonder, its story dampand slow, ancient, growing, moving through the quiet worldlike fear. After the shock, an energygathers, a secret battery charged, and whatever we knowfor sure has been usedup arises from some holy ground like food.
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