They don’t always get it right,
The counsellor can’t read his own handwriting,
the judge’s breakfast weighs on his decisions,
the banking software forgets to carry the one.
Boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife:
all of these, words around a hope,
the hope itself fastened
to a clod of earth.
And if the microorganisms and traffic lights aren’t exactly
out to get you, well, neither do they rebuff
the growing sense that the universe
is punching down.
Only when you have searched
for the fault in your self
and the beam in your eye,
down to the last nook and cranny,
only as you thoroughly earn your certification
as sin’s most diligent building inspector,
will something true in you cry out
that you have been done wrong.
It will, like the silence after the symphony,
wait tirelessly to be heard.
Cry out the unalterable fact,
let it be for you a starting pistol
sending on their way
all the ordinary processes of erosion
that may as well be deemed forgiveness.