Holy Ghost

Deanna Young

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We had no paper

then, or we had

 

no pen, or no words. How

to say it. We had

 

no voice. No listeners.

Just deaf night

 

and the flames that chased us

up the stairs, that

 

found us

panting, singed. There was

 

no story then, no

greater myth. It was just

 

our life. No big

picture. No art

 

but the Bible. No thought

but that the Lord must have made

 

some mistake, our souls

in error. We went

 

into the closet willingly—it was

a game—

 

as into a time machine.

More in hope                

 

than faith. In there

saw only starless space.

 

We prayed.

When I open this door

 

let it be

some other place.

 

There was music

though, astounding.

 

It flowed from the stereo

and filled the house

 

like Jesus. It was

Aretha in raiment of gold

 

and Elvis the King.

It flew into us like grace and shook

 

our spirits loose. We fell

to the floor like change, all

 

scattered silver. There

gathered ourselves

 

into swords of light, there rose

and followed the tambourines

 

into the shimmering

forest-mind

 

where we could think.

We walked among

 

the years like trees

and, trembling, came

 

to a sky-filled river.

Stepped into its rush like deer

 

to drink, cold wonder

pulling at our legs.

 

We gave ourselves up

for lost, raised our arms like thieves—

 

Sun lit the blood

of our fingertips, field sparrows

 

sang our names—and thus

in rapture

 

were we saved.

Deanna Young, "Holy Ghost" from Reunion. Copyright  © 2021 by Deanna Young. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

Source: Reunion (Deanna Young / Brick Books, 2018)