It could have been the sun
Blushing from kissing the day goodbye,
Or the reflection off a creek on a late afternoon.
It could have been an early Redbud blooming,
Startled awake by the beauty of the day,
Or a field of fire-pink rising from the ashes of winter.
It called as deep calls to deep.

I followed it deep into the hollow of my woods.
It was fear and liberation walking down the aisle
Toward the altar and the author of life.
I kicked off my shoes so I could feel my feet
Bound for seasons, walking on a wet, cold ground.
I wanted to fall to my knees but hope outweighed despair.
In the whitest flames I was consumed,
And felt a Pentecostal crown set upon my head.
In dancing shadows I felt the pain of poverty
And the burden of riches that feel like death.

I heard nothing but God’s voice rising,
Not just from the flame, but the woods itself.
My face, hot to the touch, was soothed by salty gratitude.
The smell of lavender, olive and geranium
Rose like incense uncontained on upward drafts.
The vision was of fire, or maybe desire.
It melted my heart as easily as iron in the kiln.
My heart was fashioning itself to love.
Ash and sacred oil clung to my skin like manna.

Turning away with an aftertaste burning my heart,
I grieved this specter may never light this ground again,
But pray its light carries me through interminable nights,
Unforgiving waters and undue seasons.
Putting my shoes back on my beloved feet,
I turn from myself so that this fresh heart of flesh
Can grow and flower in its transfigured grace.