by Steven Wingate
Ne permittas me separari a te says the Anima Christi, and on my end I don’t want to permit anything to separate us but I do it every morning when the weakness inside me wakes and breathes and I’m lost in a sticky fog of achievements and acquisitions and tricks of language like this poem that bear no relationship to my actual life which is lived in a light I can’t sense but always work my way toward: eyes searching for the lost spectrum striving above and below human range to find where life is lived without our delusion that life must be what we make it and not what you have made it. Without the separation we declare in the name of freedom or allow in the name of sloth. Someday I’ll find the strip of light that lets me see we’re not separated from you at all and I’ll lead others to it—not with words like this but with silence because we are born from silence and only in silence the separation heals.
Steven Wingate is the author of the novels The Leave-Takers (2021) and Of Fathers and Fire (2019), both part of the Flyover Fiction Series from the University of Nebraska Press. He is an associate professor at South Dakota State University. His writings on faith and culture have appeared in such venues as Image Journal’s “Good Letters” blog, The Cresset, Dappled Things, The Windhover, The Other Journal, Talking Writing, Solum Journal, Assisi, and Belmont Story Review.