Writing, and Rewriting, with Paul

We don’t know much about the writing process of the Apostle Paul. We know he used other people to do the hard work of using ancient paper and ink. We know he had some eyesight trouble and a trembling hand. A lot of people think he was just the pencil for the mind of Christ. I’d like to imagine he held an eraser too. (Acts 9, 17, loads of other New Testament texts.)

Every word is a reach,
a replay of the first long stretching search
for a switch,
or a hand,
any edge to fit around the empty space
where the world he knew used to be.

There is just the Voice now,
a light where a face used to be.
An invitation where an enemy used to be.
A love where a law used to be.

A pen where a sword used to be.

He reaches again.
Hopes for edges again.
Words to fit around the space
where grace is
what grace is
how grace is
who grace is.

He puts this word 
next to
 that one,
speaks them out loud
to hear if they sing.
Fearfully, hopefully,
lays them down in the ink.

As if a page can hold
what his blood and bones know:
how a body
pointed toward death,
carrying death,
can be turned
all the way around.

How letters erased,
Rearranged,
Composed,
become instead
of words alone,
-a poem.

He waits.
Walks across the room.
And back again.
Wrings his hands.
Runs his fingers through his beard.
Maybe his next word
is hiding in there.

They come like a drip.
Then a stream.
Now an ocean.

And he knows
if he gets the words right,
no one will know
if these words
belong to him

or the lost-in-light Voice.

He’s not sure himself.

He only knows
to reach
and wait
and try

and Repeat.