The Beauty Before Us

We were three hours from San Miguel
when the sun curved west
and cloistered itself in a smoldering
of blue clouds.

The breaking began subtly,
light creeping down to the crowns
of the Sierra Madres: rays exposing
local dust as if in a cluttered living room.

It reminded me of the white butterfly
we saw hours earlier; I told John
that it made me know there is God.
He said that was the last thing
a butterfly did for him. It made him know
there is life, tangible and good.
Cells, systems.

I repeated my spare creed
for the elegant sky:
this makes me know there is God, amen.
John turned to me, cheeks veiled
in the feverish light, and said
the sun only bursts like this in Mexico.
He wants only the beauty before him.
to exist. I need the beauty before me
to be implying something else altogether.

I wrote a lot of poems in college, and have been feeling nostalgic for the time when I primarily processed my life (and my faith) through poetry. This one is from 2001, part of a manuscript I wrote for my senior honors thesis. 

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