A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
By the sea in the region of the ten cities
they brought Him someone who was both deaf and mute.
By the sea in the region of The Decapolis
they brought Him a man who could not.
He took that man away. He took that man to be,
alone by water, a place away from any other.
And there, the Man who took the man
who was not, took His finger and touched
that man’s drum. He reached into the stretch
of taut skin where bones harden in womb dark
before passing to light here.
By water, in a place between, He touched
that man’s drum, then spat and touched again.
He touched igniting salivas with intimate secrets.
He touched that man’s tongue with His own secretion.
Then, the Man who touched that man, groaned.
He groaned deep and thrust. He thrust His gaze up!
With spitting thunder He spoke. Be! Opened!
[ed. note: ephphatha is the Greek form of a Syro-Chaldaic or Aramaic word, meaning “Be opened,” uttered by Christ when healing the man who was deaf and dumb (Mark 7:34)]
Detail from Ephphatha by Burlison and Grylls, an English company which produced stained glass windows from 1868 onwards. This stained glass window is located in Trinity Church in Boston.