‘I could've had religion’ on a braille sky.
Death rattle of hymn singalongs.
Wonderbread of body burning out on plates.
Eyes of wondering stones.
Gryphon paws on mantels.
Chambermaids caressing Gideon bibles.
A hammock tied between two crosses.
Shrivelled figs in conforming lines.
Out-of-tune harps resting aslant steeple spires.
Church keys tied to neck string.
Cold brass sceptres toppling into baptismal rivers.
Cigar box Holy Grail.
Thumbprints on lumpy necks in rotting pews.
Schubert's monophonic Masses played on organs with missing keys.
Wine in leaky caskets.
Prayer shawls draped in forgotten coat racks.
Weaving rheumatic weapons of psalms.
Aparejos in painted turquoise at the Pearly Gates.
Cobwebs in collection plates.
Pale faces of transcribing monks in dusty library basements.
Scrubbed faces of smiling missionary men buttoned to the throat.
Slack faces of somnolent parishioners pretending to pray.
Transfigured faces of children by pay-as-you-go mangers.
Yellow-black pansies over rich dirt over broken church stoops.
Fleas on hymn books.
Termites in narthex joists.
Sermon fevers racing through the air.
Church parking lots where every car is within straight white lines.
Every trumpet blasting in minor keys.
Every soloist forgetting the epiphanal chorus.
I wander in the dewy fields, lost
And trembling, trembling,
For God's great promise has conjured
Inner growth, rampant,
From where I, womblike,
Wrestle wildflowers in tall fields
In a bubble of eye-tornado
In a backwards-played Wynton Marsalis Christmas carol.