Can you drink my cup? He asks.
What strange words, I answer.
Where is it? I don’t drink blood,
I scoff and turn to go
Wait, please, his hand light on my shoulder
Sit a while, here by the stream.
We sit, a sparrow chirps, throating droplets in the sunlight,
bathes, twittering, undisturbed and unafraid
I may have got the words wrong,
his tone is apologetic. They put a halo on my head,
you see, as well as thorns.
We are a cup onto each other.
(Still annoyed, I hate preaching, my eyes turn away)
Clay, flesh, bone, blood, rage, fear, love, war, he persists.
Not the silver cup of fiction, not the golden chalice of cathedrals,
not the jeweled relic in temples.
No! My cup is baked earthen clay — terra cotta
Yes, it overflows in beauty ecstatic,
artists, mystics , shepherds, and your hairdresser know this.
But mostly we drink to cool the mouth dry and dead. The despair
and aftertaste we cleanse with clear water
from the stream.
Ah yes, the dregs (he read my heart)
No mere few grains of deposit at the bottom, are they?
Real, bitter, demon dregs, suspended throughout.
No getting round, my friend,
(his eyes set serenely on mine, I didn’t look away)
These, we’ve got to swallow, all the way
to Golgotha. We all shoulder crosses, don’t we?
(This I get, remembering my pain) Tears
flow, sobs shake me to the core, his hand
strong on my shoulder.
We flow in and out of each other’s Being;
Source to source in our humanity.
We are one in the Cup of Life.
We sat very very still.
I knew my life had changed, capsized,
though how was yet to come. For the moment
I bowed, hand on my heart.