Reading as a Sacred Art

Reading as a Sacred Art

If the words said nothing at all
You would still read meaning
In the spaces between them

Feeling your way through tangled text
Pauses and pronunciation
Bend under your touch
Familiar words flex into phrases
As hard to know as a stranger’s yesterday

Anything I meant to say
Is obscured by what you meant to hear
And the words remain mute

Captive in the spaces between us
Unable to convey
What I am saying
And not saying
The words do not speak

If anything spoke
It could not be written
Muttering along the margin

Reciting in the tongue of Eden
The first rule of words
Which supersedes both our meanings
That innocence and truth
Cannot lie together

Now we understand
As long as we speak in Eden
Say rib and serpent and lost

What you hear
Was not written here
Could not exist
Until it was lost and found
In your own experience

And if the words said nothing at all
We would still need meaning
In the spaces between