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for St. Januarius*

Some shades of darkness are impenetrable under their aquamarine and amethyst awnings, trapped beneath the depths and yearning for life’s pulsing light

Some memories from ages that passed before the birth of the world are yellow like the leaves of ancient books made of darkness that mourns the light that shunned it

Virgil’s wisdom suffers a thousand sea changes, yet remains ever loyal and constant to its eternal beloved staring at the skull: enduring testament, divine harmony, lament

Like Virgil’s precious words of glory past, the dusty treasure chests of Prussian princesses hold times not so much forgotten but buried in the safety of diamond walls

In the inner chambers of the impenetrable cage, the beating crux pulsates rhythmically as it liquefies its undisciplined bubbly charge, a private ocean

Of unruly passions that tire of galloping the dusty pages of old books on Alexandrine shelves and fly into the action of the hour, winged by Mercury’s tragic folly

The jovial conductor whips the miraculous fluids into a richly laced, intricate whirlpool of converging and embracing golden veins and ruby cardiac sinews

To animate the crucifix of abandoned epochs whose sighs and whispers, amplified and glorified, fill the music rooms of the powerful eminences of the day

Revered, cultivated with the finest instruments and state of the arts magic, the treasure’s precious burden moves seas, ships, planes, and mountains, world history

Even as it stops in awe before the little heart of one lost princess, lost in the labyrinth of her forbidden love for the golden rider of the casket’s diamond-crusted roof

Who was he? Did they meet? Did they write secret letters? Did they waken Mercury’s dubious loyalty to speak in tongues that only their hearts could read? Did they kiss?

The world stops, time halts its heartless march, power and glory draw a breath in pain, and bow to the crucifix of a love given up for the body of the eternal bride, our church

Its currency of living blood and ruby darkness forever longing for the life of the light pulses in our life-line to the perishable world of things both precious and redeemed

Unknown lover, teach me the selflessness of your renunciation that gave me life and let me know the measure of your handsome ransom for the blood of my love

A script lies in the treasure chests of lost princesses that gives and takes in silence, takes less than it gives, for no posthumous glory can lend a dead lover breath again

The script tells our secret destinies as they crush us daily in splendid mortars bearing the miracle blood of precious vanitas choking on unquenchable thirst for the light

*September 19 is the feast day of St. Januarius whose blood liquefies every year on this date for the worshippers gathered to celebrate the martyr of Diocletian persecution of Christians. Relics were traditional objects of worship that gave every sinner and every poor person the opportunity to share in the glory and riches of the Church. As Christian rulers gradually lost power, so did the status of relics in the material world, but miracles like the annual liquefaction of the blood of St. Januarius remind us that they are neither powerless nor irrelevant.

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