Something you don’t see in a Christmas pageant: the slaughter of the innocents. But there it is, in the middle of Matthew’s account.
Matthew’s baby Jesus is peripatetic, dodging bullets & fulfilling scripture. “Out of Egypt have I called my son.” “He shall be called a Nazarene.”
Luke: baby Jesus with the lambs. Matthew: baby Jesus on the lam.
Across from the school, a cemetery. Twenty-six stockings hang there tonight.
Our gulls roar overhead all July, jets intersecting tide, intercepting time, picking off eyes and the glints of wriggling scale.
On our way to Mull, the sullen gull, never full, culled through our brill, then skulked about the hull.
All words’ etymology: the cry. The mother of all words.
All words’ Eve: the wail, the holler, the pull. The squalor of gulls’ squalls.
At my aunt’s funeral, my uncle called my name. That was all.
It was spring when she died. My uncle lived to not see another spring summer fall, to not open a blind. We buried him in the cold.
The silver cord, the golden bowl, the long home. The cord slips, the bowl cracks, the long home.