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.