“Centripetal Faith” by Andrew Benson Brown

The Greeks observed, in their curving theaters, just how the straight
path of dodging fate revolves one towards its center.
The mask of the tragic presenter expressed each face’s frown.
And to steal another’s crown of fate, that’s twice as grim
when two spools too quickly grow slim, two wound-up knitting skeins
are uncoiled and cut in twain as they hug, intertwined.
It’s true, the planets align once every hundred years
or so, veering to smile at their wandering fellow spheres.
Then the sun’s commandment steers them away to orbit alone.

The Hebrews knew, praying beneath their domes in the sand,
that though cupped in Heaven’s hand, one can’t escape its turning.
When a golden temple is burning and sorrow fills the sky,
and the new moon on high occults each brilliant star
and eyelids close and the scarred breast, submerged in sobbing,
quickens its sharp throbbing till hollowed, voided, cold
fingers can still be folded in prayer: it warms the heart,
unveils celestial charts concealed in infinity—
but it’s not enough to save a temple built of gold.

Andrew Benson Brown was a graduate student at George Mason University before taking too many classes outside his discipline coincided with the reality of Debt. He now works as a children’s caseworker in rural Missouri. In his spare time, he reads obscure classics, writes things of little market value, and exercises far more than is befitting for a modern intellectual.