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Ὁ Οἰκοδομοῦντος

(Image: Detail of painting behind main altar at St. James the Less Church, La Crosse, Wis.)

“Λίθον ὃν ἀπεδοκίμασαν οἱ οἰκοδομοῦντες
οὗτος ἐγενήθη εἰς κεφαλὴν γωνίας•”

The moment’s gravity is apogee
Of death and judgment, here where sun and moon
Are beam and pillar of the balance pan
That tips the temple’s peak. But clarity’s
Displaced the weight of time with charity’s
Alacrity: Jerusalem is done
With me. The distant Mediterranean
Ignites in sliver holocaust. I see
Such realms that stretch before me reach for me.
So men have bound my hands, dismantled stone,
And thrown me down. The clumsy club’s “Amen”
Has queered my corners irrevocably;
But square and spirit level resurrect
The equilibrium of the architect.