Fathom Mag


Published on:
December 14, 2022
Read time:
2 min.
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I.  Advent

Hands cross the purple
sash, shielding the wick, to light
another candle.

The pews rest in the
breath of four flickering flames:
What do you wait for?

II.  Incarnation

On 31st street
one block from Penn Station
and the Macy’s lights

Jesus sits, a stone
statue with hands stretched out,
in front of St. Francis

of Assisi Church.
Men and women lay cardboard
beds on the sidewalk 

at His feet. Plastic
Tupperware of rice is left
for someone who missed 

Christmas feast. Hymns heard
through windows, while God with skin
wanders the street.

III.  Ordinary Time

The priest rings the bell,
lifts the host, rising action
building to climax—

a death. We swallow
the Body, this mystery—
a story we tell.

I believe, but wish
I could ask my aunt who died
if the songs are true.

IV.  Lent

We bow our heads, pause
for the sad lines of prophets,
forego revelry,

no meat on Fridays:
our sackcloth to learn again
what hunger may teach.

Could a man really
survive forty days without
water? Not the point.

The pangs remind me
of my constant grasping for
distraction and dopamine.

V.  Easter Triduum

Thursday: the priest kneels
to wash our feet.  A father
crouched in dust and tears.

Friday: we line up
to kiss the pale crucifix
in the echo of

His last words. Pilate’s
question hangs with the incense;
the church holds its breath

for that long, silent
Saturday in which we live
most of our lives.

Sunday: a sunrise—
it seems important
to wake with the dawn.

I want to feel light
rise on my face, the earth’s slow
spin toward something new.

VI.  Ordinary Time, Again 

Buried life ascends
from the dirt, our hopes ascend
to the sky. Winter

finally relents.
Receive resurrection—
a mystery we sing

and forget. Repeat it.
Our words will be pregnant again.
Remember. Return. Wait. 

Michelle DiSarno
Michelle DiSarno is a high school English teacher and photographer/blogger at surprisedbyjoyphoto.com. When writing, she is drawn to explore some of life’s most profound tensions: delight & longing, body & soul, grief & grace, joy & sorrow, faith & doubt. She is passionate about sharing beauty and connecting with others through the arts. Most days, she’d rather be hiking.
Cover image by Max Beck.

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