a journal of fantastical poetry

Saint Nothing

by Jennifer Crow

I believe in the holiness of emptiness: a table before the feast,
chairs neatly tucked away, breeze blowing
across a cold hearth. Once the banquet begins, you will find only
bare bones marked with sharp teeth. Once the minstrels play
and the courtiers whisper gossip and the plotters slip deadly vials
into the wine, I can do nothing to save you.
I believe in the sacred hollow of god's palm, where he holds
nothing in store for you. I believe he's given everything he means to,
and we must make do with that. Your complaints will be noted,
of course. He has prepared a quiet place between heaven and hell
for those who can't make do with the minimum, and won't seize
what the world owes them.
I believe in the pedestal where the statue of the goddess once stood.
You can almost see the spot where her sandaled foot pressed
against the stone, and if you listen closely, her song echoes
in the dim recesses of this museum. We have made a monument
of forgetting, and don't even recollect what we've lost.
She, of course, is just as beautiful when no one thinks of her.
I believe in the hungry belly, the devouring soul. I believe
if we were meant to be full, we'd never have left Eden. And don't trust
stories that tell you we were cast out. We left, chasing
that growling, devouring need, which is everything that makes us human.
Yes, emptiness is holiness: the craving that bites, the saving desperation.
Sit down at the table, marvel at the way the light glints across bare
porcelain, clean linen. Worship the divine intersection of hope
and the perfect unborn moment. You will never feel as full as you do
at this moment, waiting for the feast to begin.

November 30th, 2016

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