Midnight Mass
by Mike Wiegand

    I present myself like a grimy old quarter
    having passed through too many indifferent, dirty hands
    including my own
    Humility is a planet of hollow glass
    shattering over my skull
    tearful shards exploding in an imperfect halo

    Kneeling at the bathroom sink
    with the light off
    the height about right for prayer
    Thinking clumsily, mumbling dull offerings
    searching for a map of the past, of the future,
    of this starless black night
    Trembling and weeping like a death-row inmate
    tears falling on toothpaste-stained formica

    My novitiate commences here in the dark
    and at my bedside every night
    whispers offered to shadows
    just before I drift away
    over the roaring falls of sleep
    crashing to the faithless rocks below






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