St Joseph of Cupertino. 9/18
Maybe it’s the lighthead — wanting
in mental capacity so that when Joseph studies
for a test, he focuses on one item only. Prays
for his examiners to ask that question. Flying,
however, comes easily, happens trancing
on God, involuntary; one minute he’s
with his fellow Franciscans, the next he’s taken off. It happens
first on the order’s feast day, then with increasing
frequency. He can’t stop, poor empty-
handed priest, no matter the ascending rank of those who order
him not to make a spectacle of himself.
Exiled by the pope to Assisi then to one commune and the next, he goes dry,
ordered not to speak to anyone other
than his bishop, until the last mass, Assumption Day, overcome by happiness, he lifts off.
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Wendy Vardaman (website) has a Ph.D. in English from University of Pennsylvania. Co-editor of the Wisconsin poetry journal Verse Wisconsin (formerly Free Verse), her poems, reviews, and interviews have appeared widely, and her first collection of poetry, Obstructed View (Fireweed Press), has just been published. She works for a youth theater, The Young Shakespeare Players.