An Embrace of Grace
The Body of Christ, honey sweet and dry
Coarse grains finding places to hide in the mouth
as if to linger, too much to swallow yet leaving me wanting more.
The Blood of Christ, burning on lips and tongue
Binding to sweet crumbs, softening and swelling.
"Just so, I am completed in you."
Singing in silence, wanting to touch and be touched,
Accepting the unity and solitude of the encounter,
I retreat from the table to lift a word of thanksgiving.
It is finished. The table is cleared.
The candles are extinguished.
All settles into a silence and a waiting.
Before this emptied table I bend the knee of my heart.
Encouraged by a cloud of witnesses I dare to lean.
Forgive me for I know not what I do.
Like an embrace of grace, the Beloved offers forgiveness to the lover.
Pure white atop penitential purple, the cloths lie still.
I quietly kiss the place where the body once lay. But where have they taken it?
My burning cheek presses against the spot, still warmed by holy presence.
My lips ache to kiss the feet, to kiss the hands.
Arms outstretched, I long to receive the kiss of the mouth.
But the sacrifice, so carefully consumed, leaves no trace but my tears.
Turning from the table, my fingers curl to fists,
To stifle ageless moans of longing.
I kneel. I sit. I lift the skirts of the table and lie beneath it.
Arms outstretched, again I weep, for even here I find no kisses, no crumbs.
The empty table holds me captive until the Beloved returns.