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Death is our altar, where we tie the knotwith all, with everything, with God's own flame.That's the biggest secret: God is one.His beam shines through the windows and dividesin hard, bright colors, shimmering the house.God's there in that blue bowl of grapes,in juice that comes from each pale globe;in wine that fills, inflames us as we flush;this light that pours through everything around us,though we only see the flickering, the sparks.From sunlight into sun, a holy bond:this hot white flame that burns down days.God's in the firelight, so we spread our wings,fly toward the selfsame, the consuming burn. [End Page 107]

Jay Parini

Jay Parini is a poet and novelist who teaches at Middlebury College in Vermont. His six volumes of poetry include, most recently, New and Collected Poems: 1975–2015. He has written biographies of Steinbeck, Frost, Faulkner and Gore Vidal. His novels include The Last Station and Benjamin's Crossing. He has also written a life of Jesus and The Way of Jesus: Living and Ethical and Spiritual Life (2018).

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