The priest performs his sleight-of-hand
to a nearly empty cathedral: two women
sit in a back pew, flanked
by three black garbage bags
containing their worldly possessions.
The stained-glass windows are dull
with November light.
–What’s he saying?
–It doesn’t matter. Wait.
There will be free samples at the end.
Under the pew, safe from the janitor’s mop,
the house spider has eaten all her children.
On the back wall of the sacristy,
the sworn enemy of time continues to tick.
Poem modified Nov. 11, 4:00 p.m. and Nov. 12, 10:04 a.m. — see comments for original version.