Thursday, January 27, 2022


Each morning, as I sit 
in exceptional silence 

in my permanent-reserve pew 
in the church 
of austerity, 

a cloud will invariably 
darken the windows

as a chipped plate is 
soberly handed around. 

And each time, 
I find myself 
giving a little more 

than I found myself comfortable 
giving before. 

From the gloom,
I seem to watch, 
as if far removed,

as private rooms within me, 
one be one, 
are handed over;

I watch as they mingle
like garden pebbles 
in the moonlight

with the hard, flinty reticence
of a billion more parishioners 

whom I suppose to be sitting 
at this very moment 

in similar shrines 
of their own private making.

And I find it to be
both a curse and a privilege—
a boon and a crime

that I'm 
compelled to pay more
than my share of this debt

which seems far too enormous
to legitimately exist.