Here to commit the quivering weak,
Feeding scurrying beasts
More reeking fodder,
Sentimental flesh no match for
Razor sharp teeth.
Banging pot lids, stomping feet
Hoping that rats near, feasting
On scraps and detritus
Will scatter amid bluster
Before eyes dare to open,
Perhaps catch sight of things
That might scare us.
And cans, never closed -
Left always ajar, an offering
Lest they grow too hungry,
Gnaw through walls and come in,
Share foie gras
With guests hoped to impress
Now seated and dining behind,
Disgust them in sights of sins
Hidden back in the darkness,
Leaving fine linens soiled
With meals yet digested.
This body's been disposed before,
Innocent specter resurrected
By morning to fog up the mirror,
Reciting novenas as beads of his rosary
Roll in counts down its surface,
Never suspecting fate that awaits
As night falls once more.
Daytime is easier, drowning sound
From his voice in symphonies
Of piano and strings - Mozart's or Mahler's -
Other things of distraction...
That aren't there to hide in when
Sun fades and sleep tries to invade.
The figure repudiated, extracted
From psyche dissected years ago,
Like a tumor threatening to grow,
Swallow now from which time's made.
In pretense of conversion for the moment,
Take hand to lead him,
More fresh meat for the rodents -
Even saints sometimes lie
When they don't like the answers,
Atone deception later -
He still cries when I leave him
Alone at the altar.
Once a shaman, shaking dried heads
Tied to a stick with palm leaves
Promised mysterious potions
That would strengthen the weak,
Reciting magical incantations
Expected to exorcise spirits within
For all those who believed,
Practicing his science of faith
Or faith in his science,
For clients lined up at the door,
Seeking doses of hope that he sold them,
Returning each week for some more.
But for those apostate,
Left to stare in the glare of florescent,
Humors never found balance
In bloodletting; lancet nor leaches.
The weakness of faithless
Was in never tasting his cure,
Trusting tears could ever be
Wiped away by ice picks
He would thrust deep into eye sockets,
Or the sweet lies that he told them.
Holes left in one's soul
Could never filled by blue pills -
They couldn't reach there.
Missionaries positioned their ways
Through that breach,
Preaching new theologies
Our reliquary of cherished memories
Precondition for salvation,
Discarding polished bones
We had kissed and prayed over:
Precious pink t-shirt,
Coil of hair still stuck there,
Though having no root
It could never be proved
From whom it was groomed,
But that was article of faith,
Who would dare question it?;
Used ticket stub, date imprinted
Indicating temporal evidence that
Once something true existed
That we, too, felt part of;
Words bound in a covenant
Sent by saints in small pieces
Of lavender-scented mail;
Though having waited so long,
Faith in The Coming had wasted,
Perfume, long ago, faded...
And so, abandoned all hope of redemption:
A red rose rendered in oil
Expressing devotion for eternity,
Lost meaning when it withered,
Watered by hope, as it was;
And castles built on clouds
Only come tumbling to ground
When we look up, stare at the sky;
The permanent brilliance of diamonds,
Become mere stones in the garden
When sown from a window up high
As wealth for worms to covet and fight over.
Fools sift soil through fingers
In search of lost sacrament,
Finally planting their hopes
In the graves that they've made.
For forsaken, faith is just hope
Not yet ready to die.
Then, there's the weak one I face in the morning,
Likely still worshiping old bones,
Reciting from memory ancient liturgy;
When I let it, a cacophony of questions
Can echo about paths never taken,
And why some vows, not others;
Wonder if there's a heaven for heathens
When clocks cease their ticking
Off nows that I would rather live in.