by Sarah Crowley Chestnut
Love Speaks to Nicodemus
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17).
Here’s the thing, he whispered
through the darkness, words bright
like sun on a steel blade. Love
is like a fallen seed, held tight
as it breaks and bleeds. I am
that small seed come to bleed.
Go down to the dirt with me,
where darkness cracks you open,
fills your lungs with a quiet musk—
you will raise a birth-cry the color of rust.
This is the work of being born
again: cracked seed, water, soil, sun,
Spirit holding you in red hands
laid open, gentle, like a fan.
Always I have been leaning low,
ear pressed to hear the stones,
dropped limbs, spent leaves,
upward cry of lowly things—
for you ache upward, too, like dew,
have known that downward pull since the womb,
beginning that is an end, end that makes you sing:
the world is lovely because he loves it,
love reaches for the light, breaks open from the deep.