Fathom Mag

View from an Airplane Window

A poem

Published on:
December 14, 2022
Read time:
1 min.
Share this article:

Is this what we look like to God:
A canopy of ice
Whittled from cotton cumulus
And stretched to paradise?
Its vapor vows are sworn to fail,
And yet it casts a trance
Bidding the airborne argonaut
To leap, and tread, and dance.

Is this what we look like to God
As heaven's blanket frays
And mountains poke like kneecaps through
Unraveled stratus haze?
Two palms could scoop a lake of pines
Out from their native snow
And watch them trickle, tree by tree,
Down into vertigo.

Is this what we look like to God:
Our cities built of toys
And matchstick walls and monuments
A careless shoe destroys?
Each triumph, each enormity,
Flattens beneath the sky;
Three hundred thousand lifetimes pass
Before a blinking eye.

Grandeur is kin to fratricide,
Living kin to lament—
So earth swells large by holding still
To greet heaven's descent.
Uglier and more beautiful
As nearness melts façade,
We see ourselves and gasp, "Is this
What we look like to God?"

Gregory Coles
Gregory Coles is the author of Single, Gay, Christian: A Personal Journey of Faith and Sexual Identity (InterVarsity Press, 2017) and No Longer Strangers: Finding Belonging in a World of Alienation (forthcoming in 2021). He holds a PhD in English from Penn State and lives in central Pennsylvania, where he works as a writer, speaker, and worship leader. Greg is a frequent contributor to The Center for Faith, Sexuality & Gender and curates most of his creative activities at gregorycoles.com.

Cover image by Ross Parmly.

Next story