“I’m very blessed,” you say over the phone — and mean it.
It is Good Friday, and one of the lines from Eliot’s “East Coker” has been ricocheting in your mind for hours. Last year, you knelt before the cross after a three hour long service and cried. Your hand was over your friend’s. A stranger’s cupped your own. His body was broken. Crumbled bread, spilled wine. Your body felt broken, limping slightly towards the stage with a tender inevitability. You have been thinking about lost things and about how Eliot, regardless of your own opinions about his overly-lauded oeuvre, is a prophet. A month from now, graduation. A month ago, Scotland. A kind of eternity between.
“Beneath the bleeding hands we feel
The sharp compassion of the healer’s art
Resolving the enigma of the fever chart…
To be restored, our sickness must grow worse.
The whole earth is our hospital
Endowed by the ruined millionaire,
Wherein, if we do well, we shall
Die of the absolute paternal care
That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere…
The dripping blood our only drink,
The bloody flesh our only food:
In spite of which we like to think
That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood—
Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good.” — T.S. Eliot, “East Coker”
the curvature of a spotted feline back
shudders against crossed legs. she is
asleep, purring and dream-twitching.
very blessed. you remember in physics
learning about sound waves, how the hum
of a cat’s purr has special healing properties,
can strengthen bones, lessen the risk of heart attack,
abiding within the frequencies of 20-140 Hertz.
very blessed. like the berries, cherries, and peaches
blending together just right to bless the body.
like the long-awaited phone call, like light streaming
through the window onto these small potted plants,
as they reach heavenward, grow without striving.