The National Catholic Review
Mark Jarman

The kingdom of God is within you. –Luke 17:21

 

The kingdom is inside somewhere all right.
It’s tucked in by a fold of time and space,
So that the way that always feels like out
Is in. All right. Where there had been a door,
Instead I rapped against a plinth of slate.

Where there had been a medium that carried
My voice into the court or den or chamber
Of that one I appealed to, who had answered
With the best answer self-love could invent,
There was a blank and no vocabulary.

I didn’t like it. And I saw the dawn,
And it was like the bleakness in the eyes
Of parents kept awake beside sick children
Whose fevers have endured the night unbroken.
I was my child and begged for sleep like life.

And no one listened, because no one could.
It was so simple what had stopped my voice:
An oracle prescribed for me, a wad
Of molecules whose message was, “Your God
Is simple as a change of mind or drug.”

And so I changed the drug that changed my mind.
You know those dreams of houses, where new rooms
Appear in dwellings that you thought you knew?
Mine opened on a cloister where the sky
Admitted me into its lullaby.

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