Holy Ghost


We had no paper

then, or we had


no pen, or no words. How

to say it. We had


no voice. No listeners.

Just deaf night


and the flames that chased us

up the stairs, that


found us

panting, singed. There was


no story then, no

greater myth. It was just


our life. No big

picture. No art


but the Bible. No thought

but that the Lord must have made


some mistake, our souls

in error. We went


into the closet willingly—it was

a game—


as into a time machine.

More in hope                


than faith. In there

saw only starless space.


We prayed.

When I open this door


let it be

some other place.


There was music

though, astounding.


It flowed from the stereo

and filled the house


like Jesus. It was

Aretha in raiment of gold


and Elvis the King.

It flew into us like grace and shook


our spirits loose. We fell

to the floor like change, all


scattered silver. There

gathered ourselves


into swords of light, there rose

and followed the tambourines


into the shimmering



where we could think.

We walked among


the years like trees

and, trembling, came


to a sky-filled river.

Stepped into its rush like deer


to drink, cold wonder

pulling at our legs.


We gave ourselves up

for lost, raised our arms like thieves—


Sun lit the blood

of our fingertips, field sparrows


sang our names—and thus

in rapture


were we saved.

Bibliographical info

Deanna Young, "Holy Ghost" from Reunion. Copyright  © 2021 by Deanna Young. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

Source: Reunion (Deanna Young / Brick Books, 2018)


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