Your most convincing religion

This might be the place you find it.

This beach, this silver spray,
this morning copper rise,
she and she, drawn in relief,
arms stretched out as wings,
or sails perhaps,

trawling for a leeward breeze,
soaring on some imagined gyre
of light they’ve spun from song and heart
and look and look and up into
the spun light now
as water falls from nowhere
and you watch them cut through air
and turn again to hawk their way
towards you.

You made this.
All of it.

This life, this winking heart,
the music of your ribs and this:

your most convincing religion.

You think yourself as something wide
and stretched and shining,
waiting at the shore
and as they round upon you,
all grin and wings and faux faux flap
and dive you fall back and make yourself
a place to land and rest

and so you find yourself like this:
unfurling as a map,
corners weighted by the stones
and shells she brought ashore from sea.

You find yourself: unfurled
and pinned and grinning,
belly up and laughing on the sand
as she plants her spade beside you,
winks once,
says some whispered thing
about finding what was lost
and marks an x across your chest.

How to know that there is a thing called holy and it is small and close and sleeping

You will still feel her fingers in your palm;
the knuckled memory of her heart will hum
and echo slow as you make plans to build
a shrine to her in the spaces where she pressed

her cheek against your neck, stitched her fingers
to your chest and with an ocean calling
through the window, ebbed herself to sleep.
Now, the house at rest, her breathing, steady

as a pulse, comes humming through the wall
and carried on a vein of air now threading
down the hall to where you find yourself
waiting for the earth to turn beneath you.

In a minute, a single breath will stall
inside her throat, will gather itself, swelling
as a wave to break and exhale itself as song
and it will take a feat of will to not sing back

and wake her. You’ll tell yourself to sit instead
and sift through your agnostic language
for some vague approximation of the note
now spinning prayer wheels in your throat.