Ash Wednesday

Epiphany soon past,
we hasten to disabuse ourselves
of the manger
and the dark delusion of the Magi
following a star.
It was only dust after all:
stardust we understand.

‘For dust you are and unto dust
you will return’.

Chastened by the decree,
aware of our standing,
we still dare to reach for the hem
of his robe, though it crumble
at our touch.

Ash trickles on the brow.

Sense gives way
to the weight of glory and we are left
in a sacred space, disincarnate,
empty, wordless, peering
beyond sight for what we desire
but cannot apprehend.