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with Jesus

Mary Karr

How God Speaks

Not with face slap or body slam
Rarely with lightening bolt or thunderclap

But in sighs and inclinations leanings
The way a baby suckles breath

The green current of the hazel wand
Curves toward the underground spring

The man in cashmere flesh does arrive
Holding out his arms he is wide

As any horizon I've ever traversed desert for
He brings thread count to my bed

Fire to my oven    With a towel tucked
In his jeans he soaps my hair

Then finger combs it dry
I massage a knot from his neck

His mouth is well water
His gaze true and from

His tongue he brings the blessed Word

Mary Karr is the Jesse Truesdell Peck Professor of English Literature at Syracuse University. In three best-selling memoirs she has described her conversion "from blackbelt sinner and lifelong agnostic to unlikely Catholic." This poem comes from her book Tropic of Squalor (New York: HarperCollins, 2018). 

Dan Clendenin:

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