The Body

He was not raised bodily to heaven as they said,
though when the god was torn out of the man,
he was without weight
and drifted like thistledown upon the breeze.

The children shouting with delight,
ran after him to see he was not harmed
and caught him as he passed across the vineyards
and brought him home tied to a string.

As he bobbed about above our heads
and his empty eyes gazed up towards the blue,
the summer breeze twittered through his wounds,
so that they spoke with the tongues of birds.

At once from the branches birds began to sing,
as if to the going down of the sun,
and even husks and stones and other mouthless things
seemed somehow to be singing too.

That stormy night he slipped away;
the string was hanging limp when morning came.
But we dreamed he was lifted by the winds,
to sail forever high above the world,

close to the stars, cleansed by gentle rains,
too holy for the earth, too gross for heaven,
his whistlings still ignored by the chilly dark,
though carried far on late migrating wings.