Matt Prater

In Issue 8 on October 22, 2011 at 1:40 pm

The Guest Is The Guest Because It Is He Who Knocks At The Door

It is not in looking for the Guest, as Solomon’s ruddy lover,
supplicating wildly to the night guards of Jerusalem.

This is a game for lovers who already know what they are.
But we are blinded, my friend, and must beware of kissing the lips of a goat.

We must wait in a prayer of open hands for the Guest himself to arrive.
If you try and go to the airport yourself, you’ll find he’s been diverted to Boston.

You see, I am not like you might suspect. I believe
that God has a name, and bled.

And for us, there is only the opening of the door
to a voice of expressible Word by the expressed Word itself.

So I do not want to want knowledge,
for there is no knowledge, truly, but in eyes.

And so what I do want are eyes. But eyes must be clean.
This is a different word than simplicity; remember that.

One does not carve eyes as one does a chair,
with the hand’s own chisel and elegant simplicity.

As there is no thought but in things, so there are no things
but in their making, and no making but for their maker.

There is an evolution of the heart,
a surgery never-ending in the ending world:

God is making eyes out of wine-pain, and eyes,
God is making eyes which must be clean.

The Guest is the Guest because it is he who knocks at the door.
There is no use in all this washing, and streaking, of windows.


Matt Prater is a poet from Saltville, Virginia. His writing has appeared in Now & Then: The Appalachian Magazine, NANO Fiction Magazine, and Alcalines, among other publications. He is currently studying towards an MA in English at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.


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