FREE VERSE FOR THE SERAPHIM

The number of men and women who have deep-seated

homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do

not choose their homosexual condition; for most of

them it is a trial.

       -Catechism of the Catholic Church

So in the angel then there is a natural willing

love. Such natural love is never wrong, since it

is a tendency imposed by the author of nature.

       -St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae

Gabriel and Michaela startle me

when their eyes blaze. I believe

they have been sent

into my well ordered life

to confuse and trouble me,

to render pedestrian the food I eat,

the clothes I wear, the music I play,

the plants in my garden,

the comfortable arrangement of my settled house.

When Gabriel’s eyes blaze

I am overcome by an urge to hide.

Once at an island airport

when two men

in matching tropical shirts

held hands in the immigration line,

his eyelids began to flutter,

his smooth skin flashed,

and he warbled

in a voice I’ve never heard,

“My god, look at the peacocks!”

And then Michaela

at the flea market in Tubingen

whispered in a voice too loud

about the proud ass

of the blond woman

we’d been following all morning,

how she wanted to French kiss her,

what she could do with her

on a cool, rainy night

after a bath, candlelight

and two glasses of champagne.

When their eyes blaze

they become spirits

different than my two old friends,

brightened with a knowledge

I only sometimes touch,

full of the wisdom of colors

and the secrets of flowers,

lithe with the limitless configurations

of the human body, keepers

of flute and harp,

of keys to the hall of mirrors,

of the witchcraft of words.

On Sunday afteroons in the park

where they are called in summer

to laugh and dance

with others of their kind,

hand in hand they circle

the dark vortex of their hallowed love,

and nearby a hummingbird

hanging over the bouganvilla

quivers in communion

with the guardians of the light.

 

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