In Thy Courts by Mark Mansfield

For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand.
I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God,
than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.

—Psalm 84.10

Last night I dreamt a strange, clear dream
as some dreams, Christine, are.
Your old jazz beau, paler than smoke
sat playing his guitar.

And as he did, I watched one hand
but, looking closer, saw
that where his other one had been
a stub leered, gaping raw.

His eyes stared like a ghost’s at mine
as he played perfectly
till, by themselves, his strings pressed on,
haunting this melody.

Then he was gone, and where he’d been,
appeared a dark red veil
and underneath a rough-hewn cross
on which someone was nailed.

The veil fell free, and half-closed lids
opened whose eyes looked down
into mine from a far stranger dream:
Christine, they were your own.

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