Chapel, Messengers & Call
[ poetry - april 07 ]
This boy was smaller than all of us,
his skin pale and dry like his own breathing.
No wonder his father died.
We prayed for him as solemnly as we could.
Afterwards I stayed, poured out
my own fat tears onto the pew in front
where they gathered to form a lake
and then a waterfall spilling down
to the stone floor, where they gathered again,
rose up the walls until the chapel became a bell,
with each small sound amplified: the hiss
of candles, my last gulps of air.
The altar cloth passed over me
like an angel, my breath rode in bubbles
to the surface and broke
I was cornered in the wilderness of streets,
they must have been watching over me.
One of them pushed me in the chest,
brought me down with a fist for the kicking.
They were angels alright, their duffle coats
were covered in pollen dust and bulked out
by concealed wings. I could taste honey
and hear the sound of a badly played harp.
I sent out a sound-wave
that caused the ground
to tremble beneath their feet.
In their garden was an aviary
for all the wounded
flightless birds they found.
In their house, ornaments
bought for a few pence
On the mantelpiece, like porcelain.