Sat

11

Jul

2009

Brothers and Sisters - Under the Skin

I used to believe that a barrier –skin—
stood dividing all people…
a thin, but immense wall
barring true intimacy…
not mere skin’s color, though color has served
as barrier enough in times past,
nor can mere stimulation of the skin—
and what lies beneath—
whether by harsh tortures,
or by the brush of fingertips—
plumb the incarnate mysteries between any two
who come together, for their very skin
defies the truest test of intimacy:
I can never know all of you,
nor you, all of me.
No matter how close
one might cleave to other,
that thin skin stands against us,
stands between.
But I had not considered
the warrior sperm, fighting wildly up
the rich, red, warm canal,
finding, then plunging
into the drifting egg,
--- and breaking through!
And in that epic crossing
of the barrier, new life
is created in the breach.
With all I’ve seen of genetic engineering,
the essential first spark of life
has (not yet) been created
from truly lifeless matter:
what brought life’s ultimate intimacy
to mere chemicals that swarmed in the warm seas?
Perhaps it was God’s kiss that crossed
the barrier, an epic act of love.

JVB Easter Morning Dallas, Texas 2001

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Brothers and Sisters - Under the Skin

I used to believe that a barrier –skin—
stood dividing all people…
a thin, but immense wall
barring true intimacy…
not mere skin’s color, though color has served
as barrier enough in times past,
nor can mere stimulation of the skin—
and what lies beneath—
whether by harsh tortures,
or by the brush of fingertips—
plumb the incarnate mysteries between any two
who come together, for their very skin
defies the truest test of intimacy:
I can never know all of you,
nor you, all of me.
No matter how close
one might cleave to other,
that thin skin stands against us,
stands between.
But I had not considered
the warrior sperm, fighting wildly up
the rich, red, warm canal,
finding, then plunging
into the drifting egg,
--- and breaking through!
And in that epic crossing
of the barrier, new life
is created in the breach.
With all I’ve seen of genetic engineering,
the essential first spark of life
has (not yet) been created
from truly lifeless matter:
what brought life’s ultimate intimacy
to mere chemicals that swarmed in the warm seas?
Perhaps it was God’s kiss that crossed
the barrier, an epic act of love.

JVB Easter Morning Dallas, Texas 2001