Test me, O Lord, and try me.
In each promise of faithfulness, traces
of countless betrayals: averted eyes,
a voice’s tremor. Like the air we breathe
or the glances we exchange with strangers
on strobe-lit dance floors, we test positive
for impurity. But do not expect
a list of lurid details in these lines;
I am neither Catholic nor Lowell nor Plath.
I am merely – how does the song go? – “prone
to wander.” So have we any chance,
this side of heaven, at a constant heart?
Or even modest progress toward that end?
The word’s out: love covers a multitude
of sins. Is this the best we can hope for?