Next Stop, Arcadia- Carl Phillips
November 16, 2012, 2:29 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

There’s a man asking to be worshipped only.
He looks inconsolable; rugged; like those
once-popular, but hardly seen anymore,
portraits—depictions, really—of Jesus.
There’s another man. He wants to be
flogged while naked and on all fours—
begging for it; no mercy; he says Make me

There’s a field nearby. Stretch of field—
like the one they say divides prayer from
absolute defeat. Here’s where the pack-horse,
scaring at nothing visible, broke its tether;
no sign of it since. You know this field:
a constant stirring inside an otherwise great
stillness that never stops surrounding it,
the way memory doesn’t, though memory
is not just a stillness,
but a field that stirs.
The two men—they’ve gone nowhere.
They’ve got questions. Like Which one’s
the field you can actually remember?
Which one’s the one you’re only imagining
now—standing inside it, staying there,

until it looks like home? Who are they
to be asking questions? You look from one man
to the other. You keep looking—but between
submission, or the seeming resistance that,
more often than not, lately, comes just
before it,
which is better? It’s hard to decide:
the ugliness of weeping, or the tears themselves?


2 Comments so far
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Love this, thanks for sharing it!

Comment by AnnMcK.


Comment by falloncollins

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