It was nine o'clock and they thought we were drunk,
the only conventional explanation for
I was a rustic fisherman, with nimble fingers tying knots
and cursing the luck of barren nights ...
now I am a theologian
with inexorable rhetoric.
I sing the new song
that preserves difference
but surmounts distance
in a Word.
I was a wealth-protecting publican, really a tax-collector
who knew how to calculate funds and derivatives to pad my accounts
while the houses of brothers withered in the hot wind
of occupation ...
now I am the almoner who gives to all the poor,
builds hospitals for all the sick and hurt,
I drain all accounts and cancel every interest,
less than zero.
I was a swordsman, an insurrectionist,
a shouter on the barricades, a revolutionary,
hand me your newest gun in every generation ...
now I am a pacifist
and a forgiver of all past insults and injuries,
I drain all history and the chains of vendetta,
my anger is quenched
on a single tear of grace.
I was a modern, speaking in the lesser tongues
and loved my feelings and bourgeois comforts
of chips and beers and points at games
and politicians who made me mad ...
now I attend a church of empty pews,
listening to the true new song,
and speaking the word, finally,