The Fear of God

by Jeffrey Essmann

There is a terror
in the perfect placement
of sun-blanched clouds
in a mid-March sky
(too blue, too pure
to register
in the human eye);

a shudder
at the unknown power
of roses
(red, of course,
but yellow…
but white…);

a sweet panic
—sudden; wild—
at the mind divine
that thought of 
putting prisms
in the wings
of a fly
as it jolts
the page of my book
in an August sun.

If this
be the fear of God
I can only say
make me shake,
O Holy One.

Make me shake.

Jeffrey Essmann is a poet and essayist living in New York. His poetry has appeared in numerous magazines and journals, among them Dappled Things, U.S. Catholic, the St. Austin Review, America Magazine, Grand Little Things, and various venues of the Benedictine monastery with which he is an oblate. He is editor of the Catholic Poetry Room page on the Integrated Catholic Life website.

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