Tonight we will have a party
Only for the broken pieces.
Only the crooked and the blunt ones
Are welcome tonight;
The shattered and the stained can come,
But you perfected ones should stay away.
All the orphans and exiles
Will be arriving soon with their
Bundles of rags and sorrow.
Make room, you bright angels:
Now the wounded are coming home.
Tonight will be a celebration of our tragedies
And our petty stupidities,
Our shameful transgressions,
The unedifying failure
To become what we might have been
In other, more radiant lives.
Here are the unrelinquished griefs
And the never-forgiven slights;
Here is the stuttering clumsiness
And all the stagnant laziness.
Here is the hollow
In my heart.
I’m so glad you’re here.
Outside, the Buddhas
And the Saints are laughing.
In here, there is a quieter
Communion of our tragedies.
Sit. There is food and cheap wine,
A warm fire and candles.
Eat. Drink. Then speak,
And we will all weep
Sticky and graceless tears.
At this party, we are dancing
To the tune of ten thousand folksongs,
Each one of imperfection
And darkly holy for it.
This is the party for the broken.
Imperfect music plays
For imperfect dancers.
Imperfect speeches are
We bang tables and forget
Our words and
Wash the floor with our tears.
You shattered and stained beauties,
All crooked and graceless as you are,
Blunted by the hard world of death,
Love and the push of time’s spear;
You who are more glorious than statues,
As rich in stories as pirates,
As worthy as comets or stars,
This is the secret I want,
Tonight, to tell you:
Our dark-tongued singing
Reaches heavens even the Saints don’t know;
Our graceless, defiant dancing
Opens up the whole Universe.
The broken world is our country.
The struggle is our homeland.
Tonight, let the Buddhas be silent;
In here, we will raise our glasses
To our brokenness, howl
And sing so loud and badly
That all the bright and dark
Heavens will hear our song.
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