Beloved, how can you still welcome me into your secret chamber
when I spend so much time cavorting around with others,
and not just any others, but the worldly, debasing kind of others,
the kind I laid around with before you captured me at the cross?
It is so difficult to avoid the tumult of men
and the loud, gaudy seductions of the world: the whores
of gossip, the drunken vanities of idle talk, the thieves of time.
How often I’ve fallen into your arms reeking of politics,
filthy from bragging while the stench of so many falsehoods
still cling to my beard.
I shamelessly chatter on and on about the things I profess to love –
the transient, superficial affairs of this world – and the things
I hate – how I enjoy raking injustice over the coals!
You are going to have to come with me everywhere
as I go among social demands and pettiness.
Speak to me, remind me to pray, engage me in the whispers
of our secret conversation.
I am too weak to walk on my own.
Teach me to hold my tongue.
Keep telling me that when I finally close my mouth in this world
I shall open it with a shout in the next.