Tongues of Fire

I sing the Word, I sing the tongues into flame. I sing Hallelujah and Hallelujah sings back, a holy flame from a hundred mouths ululating electric and holy, thickening the air thick already with the damp breath of grass, the damp breath of sinners, our sweat and the sweat and the blood of the Blessed One in our blessed midst. The Holy One baptizes with fire, I sing, and Hallelujah sings back. A holy bouquet of thick tongues unthicked, now petal-thin, now praising the skin of the Word into bread, now crumbling the bread into the mouths of the holy. Hallelujah, I sing, and Hallelujah sings back, the breath of the sinners rinsed now by the flame of the Word, the crumbs of the Word electric on our tongues, the Word a lava of grace. Hallelujah and now the Word is singing me, my blood a lavasong singing thick and blessed and electric. The tongue of the Word sings me into the midst of a hundred mouths, baptized with the damp breath of sinners, the damp electric tongues of bread and fire, bread and fire, and we sing the Holy. We sing the skin. We sing the crumbs.

Lisa Levy has a Master of Fine Arts in Fiction from Syracuse University and a Master of Divinity from Yale. In the fall 2012, she begins work as a chaplain at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Ultimately, she plans to start a companionship house for people living with severe mental illness. She lives in New Haven with her dog, Bobo.