First Names

Location

Honduras

After I looked you in the eye that first time,
When I stated my mantra, and parroted my lines,
And asked for your name, and forgot it moments later,
I realized I had sinned against both you and your Maker,
Who remembers your first name and never forgets.

After I looked you in the eye that second time,
At a gathering composed of your acquaintances and mine,
I wondered to myself where your line of vision had been,
Where it had elected to go and where it had gone at God’s whim.
Is not he who formed the eye quite able to see?

When the third occasion of our eyes meeting happened,
I felt myself to have a smaller soul than I’d imagined.
A world of a person had three times come before me:
A living creature, a sacred image, a breathing history,
Eyes I can see into, and a hand I can hold.

I’m told there’s a gathering or some event next week.
For a fourth time I will look into your eyes, and see
The windows to the human soul that’s standing there,
With all that has come in and out, the wants, the cares.
Again I’ll see your eyes, and I will want to peek behind them.

And I will look at them with love, and without pretense,
And I will speak your given name with proper reverence,
And I will plead the God of First Names give you mercy,
And he will tell you his first name, and then his story.

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