Ekstasis


that the self might be stepped out of into—

I have never found it true: the dream
of a little death, the stay
of thought; the unbearable made bearable

through some brief ministry of joy—  Learning

from men at lines of urinals the strategies
of reticence: only
the slightest tensing in the flesh as sign, ecstasy not

translation, but the bearing-up of body as against
a force it will be sieged by but
not broken     Christ

          I  would  be  broken—

Finding his genitals offended him Origen           tore them out
and of his body made
no body

                     Whoever will drink from my mouth
will become like me      I beseech thee     Be

           transformed—

 

 

Nights, I Called Out to You, and Your Name to My Mouth Was Sweet

Mornings, you answered,
And made the sweetness of all that had been sweet to me ash.


Garth Greenwell is a Mellon Fellow at Harvard University, where he studies English and American literature. He has new poems in Salmagundi, Boston Review, Pleiades, and elsewhere; his criticism appears in Harvard Review, American Book Review, West Branch, and is forthcoming in Parnassus. An earlier version of "Ekstasis" was published by Slope.