Poem submission by Elisabeth Watson
It was bread that survived.
Motives undisclosed and
Holy insofar as it was silent.
All other furniture was lost to the war:
Ligament and password, loves
uncataloged and cataloged, the universe
as it was before Copernicus–
innocent as we left it, sleeping on the hearth.
Should you find yourself
Homeless with a stove but not a language,
Salt the flour, salt the water, salt the blue flame and the yeast
Salt the ghosts of your table your chairs your pulpit
Salt the fields and the wells and never look back.
The bread of life
Is the bread your father gave you
When you asked him for a stone.
It is the bread that did not rise when you fled slavery in the night.
The bread that grew while you were sleeping, faithless even to yourself.
Who will come hungry to my table?
The mute heart’s oldest question
sits down, unanswered, to a feast.
What it tastes there, strangely, is God
making for safe harbor,
his whole horizon changed
when he finds himself
anchored beyond all famine
What you remember at the altar
is your body, not your name.