The Agnostic Goes to Church

Brittle as my polish was, and subject

to my ensemble’s perfection;

yet it so swiftly deteriorated, as if God wanted

that I should not be wearing my best, but honestly

clothed in the dust I carried around each day,

and would become soon enough.

Impulse buying does not work with God.

He wanted me to pick through the junk, to smell

the souls of old clothing, and feel their months against

my skin.  He wanted me to choose the modest dress for Him.

However did I make it out of church, holding myself in?

I left there a beggar, a shoplifter

with words in my skirt folds, words

for later, pressing them against myself, dropping

some. ¬†Everybody’s hungry for words.

But certain words are harder to eat than others.

I wanted to get home and spill them on the kitchen floor.

I wanted to hold them until they didn’t feel like pieces.

Surely if I turned them around enough, if I

kissed them a while, they would change magically

from verses and mines into mincemeat pies I could eat.

1998

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