Lord save me from seeking notice for what I think I have done,
from the solicitation of "liking"
and other more respectable (though dolorous)
forms of aggrandizement,
today's fleeting (for a day) congratulation of children.
Lord save me from being offendable,
from long-winded soliloquies
that grant me exception to the forgiveness rule
-- the one criterion, the one work expected above all others.
Lord save me from being a good judge of character,
from presuming motive,
from remembering histories and familial dispositions,
from inferring genealogies of morals
that justify my own way
and incriminate those who did not look at me
with obsequious favor.
Lord save me from self-esteem,
the pretty concocted fantasy drawn from the mirror shards:
it is more beautiful to be weak and contrite.
Lord save me from self-reference, from enthusiasm,
from any lyrical egoistic reverie.
Lord save me from a strange devotion
that bids me leave the world that You so loved,
to sacrifice the appearances, the surface glories,
for the sake of a geocentric theology.
Lord save me from taking shelter in a dusty shard of mirrored glass,
in a haunted house of Hamlet's echos
if only to hide from the cries and news reports
of the dying infected young.
Lord save me from the fracturing of brotherhood
and the headstrong descent into self,
remind me that encomia turn into eulogies,
if they haven't mutated by then into scorn.
Lord save me from any false pleasure that distracts me from the beauty,
the sweetness of repentance,
from the joy of fellowship,
the human abiding
The only, after all, spring
that never falls.