God's not dead to me, just a concept,
like honor among thieves, like neutrons,
like progress with its contradictory flags.
I can't even say I yearn to believe,
not with that boyish, tight-in-the-groin ache
that saints report--in which I believe,
at best, the way I acknowledge other
languages, other foods at distant tables.
Praying to God is like talking to a bank.
Still, I'm not denying the storms of glory.
With me there's a wisp of cloud soaking light
from the far end of a loved lake.
There are whispers in the attic, scuttlings
across the cellar floor. There's the tang
of winter breath, the spine-stiffening spasm
of love. A dog snuffling leaves brings me
good news from another territory
where I'll never live and may not ever visit.
With me it's enough, some days, that I lift
my eyes to both streetlamp and vagrant star,
that somewhere in my closet is a coat
owned by my father when he was my age,
long soaked in darkness and his smell,
a coat I can neither discard nor wear.