There was a wind.
Trash can covers in front of the house
rattled against the gravel
a blouse swung
on the loose clothesline
and the moon gleamed
like a pearl ceramic bowl
on a long table
set for one.
Clumsily, she held the iron,
which she pressed against a wrinkled blouse
and stood barefoot beside
the laundry room door.
Now she sits at the table
with flushed unwashed hands
now her face lowered,
she reads Little Women
and laughs lonely.
Suddenly, a knock at the front door
drones out the imagined voices
and the guest, carrying a cardboard package,
lets in the outdoors
and fills the musty kitchen
with a calm wind.
And then he goes
taking warmth with him,
the orange heated iron
cooling on the worn board.
2. The Pastors
They seem fogged and distant. God will see them even if I don’t.
They pause beneath the scattered light of borrowed windows
and sit with their backs to one another.
From the holed roof, water drizzles onto the pews.
They are the pastors,
the few of them huddled within the chapel,
Here they learn to crave a different love.
Each prayer goes up and without notice,
spittle clings to the corners of their mouths.
Draped over their chests, onyx beaded rosaries,
and on the bottom, the golden body. Oh, why am I here?
Beneath the high ceiling, in unison, the pastors breathe,
their fiercely glowing faces still unknown.
February 7, 2011