He told me, “Embrace the gray,”
embrace that dead feeling that floats to the surface like a body,
heavy and cold.
Questions I’d known a long time
followed me to Switzerland where I planned to go alone
to sort out more important things.
But they jumped at the chance,
finally refused my preaching them away,
my verses and platitudes and pep talks.
My counselor says every great person of the faith hits a wall.
I guess the stones are all the old wounds that break open,
when you’re brave—or desperate—enough to cast off your coping.
No one showed me the fine print,
that explains how the hard reality of this world persists and persists.
I never really knew anything.
But won’t there be the fear that I’ll lose my faith?
“Absolutely,” he said,
no pause for breath.
I threw my tissues in the trash and he gathered his robes
as we left the conference room,
no light but the sun.
Cover image by Annie Spratt.