Articles of Faith
As if words, not works, could save,
whether definite or not,
they wrestle angelic abstractions
somewhere between Egypt and Emmaeus,
between mud brick and belief, blood
river and any familiar stranger.
They make implicit ex-, make ineffable
inevitable as, say, Earth’s
rotation or clock on nightstand.
When omitted they still haunt
phrase and sentence, invisible
made visible, absent
less cryptically clipped
than Confucian analects but still
mere whispers, rumors, naysayers to doubt.
Scissored from magazines and pasted
into ransom notes, they claim authority
but fail to yield certainty, fail to give solace,
fail to work save as words.
Editor’s Note: Most poems about words (and faith) are unnecessarily omphaloskeptic, but not this one.