Baptismal Voyage ©

By Roy Dean Doughty

Written September 25th, 2009

Listen here to my reading of “Baptismal Voyage”

 

Sometimes the body’s destiny begins to reveal
Itself: the pump of the heart, the elastic tributaries
Of the nerves, the imperative verbs, which spark
In the intricate brain — all turn together,
And point in one direction. The limbs ask:
Why did these gifts of sudden being and lack,
These interchanges of cellular ambrosia,
Awake this morning from a nightmare of dirty flooding
To find the blues and grays of the scrub jay
Swooping their lights through dawn’s green magnifications,
Its body of sky and water inside our own?
Lovers know the childish giddiness of touching,
The rhythms of the text that can make even ecstasy
Cut through the curing ceremonials of trust, when lip
Entrances lip, through speech, through kiss.
Oh how the despair finally tears us free,
With all of its roiling contradictory currents,
How all this breathing in one turbulent place
Makes harmonies of birds and woundable bodies,
Who in the midst of life are buried at sea.