Nearly every morning
I make a cup of coffee
in my battered old moka pot.

While the coffee sputters and fizzes
toward completion
I carefully place a dusty crumb of incense
on the burner, next to the pot.

I watch as a thin curl of smoke rises,
as the fragrant molecules of resin ignite:
myyrh, frankincense, rose, spiknard, jasmine, and the mysterious opercula of the wing-shell mollusk.

Uncounted mornings, evenings, and high holy days have calibrated and fixed
a specific set of connections between embodiment and sacred
through the everyday science of breathing,
so that simply sitting here by the stove
and waiting for coffee
becomes church.

Iliana Filby