Summer 2011 • Vol. XXXIII No. 3 PoetryJuly 1, 2011 |

The Lesser Alleluia

This is for when you have been proven and receive the crown of life. It differs from the Greater Alleluia, for the Greater includes a robe of glory, stolam gloriae. You tally up your mistakes and miscalculations, which are many, no doubt, and there is an accounting—there would have to be, for what is to be made in the defense of all your languors and sashays and wastes and vanities? Who can say? The wind is up from the harbor full of fish and diesel and it makes a kind of crown, it certainly makes the maples flush and reach and shake like the woman I just met rushing to meet her lover, feet in the earth, but, oh, the wild look in her eye, such resolve, her hair unfurling, irrepressible Magdalene, won't she be redeemed over and over, all day long? All the Buddhas smile. You might be one of them. I can't keep track of all the kingdoms, poor Hagar weeping until the angel comes, but he doesn't give her too much—or maybe he does: Ishmael and the wild people. Let's be sober for just a

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Frank X. Gaspar is an American poet, novelist, and professor of Portuguese descent. His most recent novel is Stealing Fatima (Counterpoint press, December, 2009). His collection of poetry, Night of a Thousand Blossoms (Alice James Books, 2004) was one of twelve books honored as the "Best Poetry of 2004" by Library Journal. His most recent collection of poems is Late Rapturous, from Autumn House Press.

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