Two Poems

By Jason Myers

Oral History of Silence

I woke in the wreck of history,
a slight sight in my seeing,

my body wet with what I guessed
was sweat but might’ve been blood.

They will know we are Christians
by our conquest. No, wait, that

isn’t right. I keep getting things
wrong & wrong & wrong. It’s how

I know I’m white. Well, well, well.
What I’m trying to say is, sorry.

I saw the Serra exhibit, behemoth
bones of rust. I saw
two black men carry spines
of steel to a dumpster. More

in trees, on streets. I saw white
men say this was normal, nothing
to get upset about. They were
sad they couldn’t watch a nice

sport without thinking of justice
crying crying crying in cities
in the woods in the past. The past
keeps happening so often I’ve
decided to call it the future. I’m
reading the history of holiness.

It’s a very frail book. I’m reading
a collection of apologies. I want
to be true to what I’ve seen, what
I’ve heard. For months I’ve sought
an appropriate vocabulary for prayer,
but everything feels false. I know for

the spider, silk is a lexicon of comfort,
but for the fly it is terror. I’m so afraid

my love language is silence.



After many years of fruitless quest
for what I thought was love but
know now to be vanity, vanity my middle-
name & patrimony, vanity my mirror &
rhythm section, I went, vain & unrepentant,
into a tabernacle most hallowed in this place
called Tis-of-Thee, liberty illusion & myth,
quilt passed generationally as other hereditary
illnesses & whatnot. For when a
limbstrewn wanderluster in seek of salve
gets to some dead end & says, Oh, let me
live, pity that fool & hasten him to King’s
home, spiritual & literal, Ebenezer up
the street from the 2-story Victorian
where, A.D. 1929 in the disaster aka
America, came of a woman a man who,
having spoken over years, from depths still
plumbless, with the sort of timbre & cadence
vouchsafed O surely to the elect alone, was
thanked for his witness with a bullet in the face.
Friends, think me not ignorant that
such recompense has been tendered
again & again & again & again, but,
I confess, that morning, when Spirit
said, Visit ye my historic Blackchurch,
I was, to put it mildly, dumb. Hark,
it’s been my privilege whitely to walk
wherever my bodymind cares to go,
with little thought but wherever there
be, hence my satisfaction. O,
I was not, whiteboy though I am,
without deprivation, for on that very
day my bodymind did brood, did brood,
yes, lovelies, in my solemn heart there
had a wreck occurred. What herons,
what swans in seasons past had idled
in parks dear to me had fled. I say
I was a mess. So wrought, so
done, I turned, unwitting, toward redemption
I could not name nor earn, but under the
choir’s caress, in the carrel where many
an earnest student of the Word had asked
How long, O Lord, I felt move over me,
within me, a fire that some have named
YHWH, some history, some, bless them,
have said is nothing but the random congress
of synapses, a molecular procedure no
more meaningful than sunset or horseshit.
Well, friends, I can only assure you that,
having seen the Sistine & like manner
of murals, & in consideration of Coltrane,
& the bus vernacular of a Missus Rosa
Parks, & after some years allowing Bach’s
Passions to destroy me, as well as the
avenuewide voice of Mahalia Jackson,
in addition to the sermons preached
but twenty blocks from where whitely
I resided the better part of Obamayears,
it is my glad conclusion, despite ample
evidence of cruelty, disintegration, &
the relentless belltolling that tells me
more & more to dust have returned,
that God is real for I can feel Them
in my soul. & so I commit my vanities
& shortcomings to that limbly business,
Church, believing, for all my trespasses
& stupidities, Love may, yet, have the final



Jason Myers is editor-in-chief of EcoTheo Review. A postulant for ordination in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, he lives with his partner, Allison Grace, and their son, Robinson, outside Austin. 

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