A Revisitation: Frock and Collar

Meditation on Psalm 70
February 28, 2012
Proverbs of a Drunk Daisy
March 5, 2012

In the name of my Father
I crawled the thorny path,
My rosary greased from
Palms and praying
By the churchyard door;
And of the Son I happened
By the frock and collar,
Frayed and wrinkled
Down the knee;
And of the Holy Spirit
Knew from every oily child,
Still this mission must.

And with my braided beard
And sharecropped scalp
I held the corrugated faith
Against barrage and bait,
Standing lithe:
“Why did you? When was it?
What kind of man?”
Because I was a figure,
Bound by cloth, and by
The papacy of coital
Ruin.

In darkness leaked the light
Of stained glass windows there,
Silted by the smoke.

With factories of fiction they peeled
Me down; my reddened lips
Hot with musty lust, far gone, far
Aging.
Until they, too, collapsed, and pity
Spared my life and instrument.
My sweat congealed in beads on
Brow; for my spirit, they cast
Lots.

“To work!” they crowed, those
Bishop-pricks, grinning ear to
Sun with whipping and the scar.

And when, that Sunday, I ambled
To the Sacristy to pray, and weep,
And wonder faith at all, I saw a miracle
That pierced my stomach wide:

There was a red van, halfway parked by
A steeple there, and on its tinted back
There sang a single note of ruin:
Christ the Crucified in lavish pride
Was plastered on the glass.

God save you, Nicodemus,
My spirit rang;
Do not come tonight.

 

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