top of page



Glenn Shaheen


The energy of the church is said

to help the neighborhood, to heal

those who look upon its vacant

glass, religious or not; who desire

to wring the necks of those who

may hurt us yet do not wring

those necks; who say they want

help and do want help, the church

a matrix among the patterns of

force that web the air like veins.

I don’t dislike it, I am just tired.

Answers, I don’t have them, but

endless useless compassion. Those

who benefit from the church may

see a thousand leaves but I see

a glittering wreckage. I have not been

asked to hurt and I do not wish

to enact any hurt. I trace my finger

along strands in my palm and

remember the pains I have enacted

on those who have loved me,

touchstones separating moments

in my life like stillborn children.

A square of wood falling on tile.

I like to see a church but I like

to see a ruined church even more.


Glenn Shaheen is the author of four books, most recently the flash fiction collection Carnivalia (Gold Wake Press 2018).


If you enjoy Nat. Brut and consider yourself a reader of the magazine, please consider donating to us! We are a fledgling non-profit on a shoe-string budget, and our staff is 100% volunteer (all of us!). Every dollar you give goes directly back into the operations of the magazine. Consider giving today!

bottom of page