Only in old-time cathedrals
do they have them now—

tiers of candles flickering in rows,
waiting for the supplicant’s coin

and the next addition to their ranks,
waiting for the prayer breathed

in the silence of the nave—
And in seething counterpoint, the hubbub

of votive sellers just around the door,
boys hawking lottery tickets or cures

to swill from bottles of neon-
colored liquid. Shreds

of incense trail into the dark,
cadre leading the charge on heaven.


In response to Via Negativa: Forest Fire.

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