My Sole Defense

In the end I shall be judged on love alone.
Love stands alone, my sole defense; The one
Criterion that matters, the moments in
And yet still out of time. Moments spent
In rapt awareness of the ineffable other,
In the museum, library, movies or a play;
In quiet nights wrapped up in loving arms;
In moments of extreme and total effort;
In the last expenditure of self, no longer
Able to remember that the self exists at all.
The far too rare moment of total gift
Of everything that moment has given me.
The self-forgetful, self-effacing moment,
The end and death of self. The self-intention,
Self-deceit and self-determination,
Self-absorption, attention, awareness… Slain
Swallowed up in a moment of otherly love.
Holy moments, moments scattered far
And wide across the night sky of my soul,
The general nothingness of self, gazing at self
With inward growing eyes, blackening the sky.
(Or perhaps the blackness of eyelids screwed
Tight shut against the bursting light of dawn?)
Regardless, when I stand before the Judge
Naked, with sins piled heavy on my back
In that moment I shall not plead innocence
For, of course, I have none. My sole defense
Will be the few, the few, the far too few moments
Of Love (not mine) that I was empty enough to receive.


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