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  • Even a Small Resurrection, and: Advent Poem
  • Peter Cooley (bio)

Even a Small Resurrection

When is the thing beyond God to appear?This morning, looking out at the white sky,which has not even spoken its first blue,its gold, and stirred the world that rich mixtureof colors which transfix us every day,I feel that terrible white nothingness.This is the room where serial killers live.They carry it here wherever they can run.No one is here but me and I am HellMilton's Satan said, a fallen angel.Oh, I am drifting, God, I'm terrified.I know that nothing lies beyond this thoughtbut death, the sky we can't see 'til we see.Why am I resurrected by small light?It's coming through the trees, it's all colors,the old world seen again entirely new.This is what white is: divine everything.

Advent Poem

Backward from eternity, processing,out of the morning dark, before the birds,my parents and my sister walk toward me.You see, their faces turned away like this,their steps processional and synchronized,they're not my idea of the immortal. [End Page 140]

What did I want? Angels in whitest light,thunderous choirs, organ keys breaking cloudswhile, just for me, God issues the Great Word?Of course not. But to see them holding hands,younger maybe (I said they're turned away)suggests a little happy familybefore my late arrival on the sceneten years after my sister.    Who's to blamefor all the civil wars that came later?No one maybe. That was just how it was.Now they're all dead, busy with something else.Here, on my side of the great, black divide,it's just another morning in New Orleans.I think that I will read "Sunday Morning"before I go to mass, sing in the choir.Why do I forget these choir rehearsals?Where did I leave my keys? What shall I eat,something simple after Christmas partiesdistracting my stuffed body from a birthsoon to occur, which I guess my parents,my sister, dwell in, every single day.Maybe today they'll pray for me down here? [End Page 141]

Peter Cooley

Peter Cooley has published seven books, six of them with Carnegie Mellon, which will also publish his eighth book, Divine Margins, this year. He teaches creative writing at Tulane.



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pp. 140-141
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