for peter


you are sitting in your castle

three stories up

the floor is corn blue

the walls a cathedral in the sky


around you we gather

children all of us

wearing ill fitting clothes

trying to find our place in this


“you did not come here to die”

i shriek (inside)

we are fumbling here

grasping at air


suddenly you sit up

your eyes cutting past me

you say:


“let’s go to the baptism.”


this is how you have always been, peter,

ablaze, setting fire to the air--

all moments charged with life

railing, praising, ranting, surging


this is new terrain though

and we do not know the way

our eyes don’t work here

it’s the inner hands

that have to feel their way along these corridors of yearning


we’re going to a baptism


what else can this be but earth’s skin quietly shedding

itself against the unsettled air—pure breath searing

the edges of sorrow, shrugging out the unfitting forms.

born to ride the air

never born to linger


o dear peter—

the light shines from inside—

the sky bursts from the breath of you


joni overton-jung january 2002

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