Sanctus


When the sun burns out
it will take 8 minutes and 19 seconds
for mankind to know
because that is how long it takes
for light to reach the earth.
We move to the rise and fall of the little jazz mass-
the shadowy smoke of faded incense drifts up
from beneath the hot New Mexican sun. The children here
dream in warm browns, burnt oranges, and powder blues
of terra-cotta castles and that old church on the side of the highway-

Chimayo. We pray
for these hopeful copper-faced children
and the way in which they see the world:
bright, alive, gasping.

That was the year
the blue-lipped winter bore a new weight
and crackled like electric sparks.
We remember the ghost of his touch now
and wonder where we will be
in those 8 minutes and 19 seconds.

Where will we be when
these times mark the end of all times?

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