San Diego Poem: Palm Sunday

Joseph O’Brien

For Deirdre Lickona

Tonight, the bluish TV screen warps into wine’s darkness–
Each hollowed head, each explosion, each kiss or gun
Stretches its restless bandwidth as through a glass vessel.

I lie. Nothing is going on outside. A dog barks
That same nothing in the moon’s language, although archeology
Has long since laid him to rest: in Pharaohs’ tombs,

Concubines laced their necks with canine teeth. The dogs
Capitulated; lost their place among the stars–Good dogs . . .
And California is grateful for the Great Bear: desire dips

Down and plays out along the sky’s palm-strewn edge,
And for no such idea, the tall slender trunks ball up
Their fists of palm. Sunday prays to draw near enough,

To blunt the week’s point: Saturday’s milieu of flight and fight,
Of kiss and gun, of dogs and kings, of death and light–
The blue, drank as purple, distills the rest into San Diego’s days.

Joseph O’Brien lives on a rural homestead near Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin, with his wife Cecilia and their seven children. He is a freelance writer and hosts the online radio program Cover to Cover for Catholic Radio International.


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