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For Advent

He became Himself an object for the senses ...


taste and see ...

PSALM 34:8

1. Carnem, caro, carnis
 Or carne asada, a kind of word becoming flesh
 and a thinly sliced marinated beefsteak--salted, soaked in lime juice
with spices, and seared off on a grill. The kind you get from a street
vendor in Mexico or a taqueria in a barrio in the U.S. where
there's little to no English spoken and they
 only accept cash. Which is boisterous, also. And so full of common life
like grime, cerveza, and "La Cucaracha." And the cooks wear
hairnets or not. And the men are all weathered and sweaty and wearing
their dew-rags--there is
     no beauty that we should desire any of them.
 But nightly, inside, it has the remarkable feel of
2. Carnelevare
a carnival--Old Fr. meaning "to remove meat," to cut it away,
or quite literally, carnis + levare,
 "a raising of the flesh," from which we get the word. As if
to say there's always a curious inconsistency equally in the pain
of being cut to the bone and in our own revelry. As if we can't
forget the bad when there's good, the indifferent in importance,
sorrow in the joy of it. Though we try to separate them. O Lord, we try
to grow content with measured time, but we want the final, sovereign
Yes, and not this man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.
 We want what is not yet--this constant what is
and what is to come
--the last without the first, which is a cutting, of sorts: to cut
3. *(S)ker--
short. To cut--to carve. As in a cut of meat: rib roast, roast turkey,
or goose for a Christmas feast. Or a cutting of God, or Christ taken, or
removed, from God. And what would the butcher say if asked for a loin of
holiest God? Would he say, "The butchering is still some time away?
Come again Good Friday--" Or, instead, "Tis the season.
 Try the Lamb. It's fresh." For he was cut off out of the land
of the living
God just yesterday.
4. Skera, scheren
And sheared. Which is another kind of cutting. There are so many kinds:
against the grain, a break, a rug, down or down to size; from the same
cloth, a wide swath, some slack, the cord, the crap; to cut to ribbons,
a throat, corners; to cut in or out, to cut the mustard; to cut away or
both ways--so many ways to take our portion.
Therefore divide Him as a portion.
     5. *Skaro--, schar
     among the many
--our share. To share. And find him, of course, as a stranger and invite
him in; in the Epiphany, yes, but also in the toys small children drop
into your shoes when you're not looking and are off now to
something more important, as, soon, you will be too. In the camaraderie
had in a bad meal: if not the food--at least the spark of good it still
aspired to or in the laughter at each other's grimacing faces. In
the absences this side of Ascension: in the many stricken and afflicted,
see all the little flames hovering around. And in the cuts,
 see meat for a feast. To be savored. For today, take. And eat.
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Author:Allman, James E., Jr.
Publication:Prairie Schooner
Article Type:Poem
Date:Mar 22, 2015
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