Warren Falcon (04/23/52 - xxxx / Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA)
The Year I Almost Became A Catholic by Raul Voz
(translated from the Spanish by Warren Falcon)
The year I almost became a Catholic
5 stars rose from your breasts in Spring.
My nest was a sudden disturbance in blue.
a floating head
adorned your white throat.
I fled from my boat after one
long night of fishing only to
arrive ashore with torn nets
and apparitions upon my knees.
Without will my cursing ceased.
I discovered I was speechless.
I learned to speak with my hands.
Curious circular clouds surrounded
particular heads without logic.
Genuflections strange rearranged
the air in front of my chest while I
sat upon or hid my left hand.
Purple became everything dear.
Roses diminished before your
bare feet treading upon a serpent,
a tourniquet of gold each ankle
Virgin stars minus 5 surrounded
your curved shape defiant of robes
meant to convey the holy restraining
in my groin.
Odd collections mounted in the attic
where I retired to cloister and wait.
Leaden pilgrimage up and down pointless
stairs accumulated distance.
My beard became a convention of lepers and bells.
clumps of hair
bits of flesh
sacks of ears
all were relics in the making.
I became an accountant listing and numbering each holy scrap.
I tried not to be critical but my eyes lied.
I could not confess except by pencil,
leaving notes and grease stains
for the priest to interpret.
Absolution my hope,
a mute vow was my prosthesis.
Then Spring returned.
My boat sank. All mended nets,
a year's work, were lost.
Nothing to do.
I return to you, a parenthesis in the sea of loneliness.
Each star, each breast, you have removed
in my absence, mourning made permanent,
scars upon your throat oddly fish-shaped.
Astonished, my voice returns, curses then caresses,
withered left hand free to unravel regret nerve for
nerve, the only net worth mending.
I reserve this one strange act from a year of orthodoxy,
to anoint your feet with tears.
I dry them with my hair, your outstretched arms
a beseeching beyond emptiness, your chest barren
but for my hands remembering the uses of prayer,
kisses but murmurs, rumored stars where swollen sails had been.
Comments about this poem (The Year I Almost Became A Catholic by Raul Voz by Warren Falcon )
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