September 13, 2014

Abacus



Then Peter came and said to him, "Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him, "Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.
- Matthew 18:21-22

There was the time you lied about the car crash
and the time I told you I didn’t go to the corner bar
there was the time you let the cat out and she got crushed
and the time I let loose my tongue and spit venom
this is how we hurt each other: not in the act
but in the clinging and the trumpeting of wounds
and the holding on to justice like a rapier
sliding and clicking the abacus beads for each injury
from the coveting to the stealing and adultering
the killing, the lying, the false accusing and the rest
as if by keeping tally, and keeping a balance of accounts
we could make our offenses against each other fair
and we end not with balanced books, but endless debt
or we could stop the goddamned counting and winning
and see how the calculus of grace breaks the abacus
strings the beads into a polished necklace gifted to each other
with laughter and humility and freedom and zeroed lines

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