I never liked going to church alone.
Something about the crucifix, its wooden agony
and sophic stare
right into my vacuity of virtue, the numinous crescendo
of the fervent choir, made me reach for my mother’s hand
childlike faith in her sturdy side. Broken inclinations
and fragmented rectitude,
I’m not suited to the white gowns and silver circlets.
I’m a scarlet stain, like a drop of wine
on the divine imbrication of angels and immolation.
So lately I’ve made altars of bookshelves,
pews of the equidistant aisles lain like slants
of sunlight on the ground. Disciples of transliteration,
harrowed breath of fallen prophets, on my knees
to the lowest shelf. I have found saviors here.
Walk through and my toes curl under, so
shy in the lush wandering of words and promises
intimated between the lines.
I could kiss their trillion pages like a lover’s eyelashes
embrace forever their bloodless
offerings that stir my thrumming heart
and assure me that in this wild tangle of
mainline veins and interstate road signs,
skittish eyes and unfathomed dreams,
they have walked before me.
I am not alone.