ISSUE TWELVE | SPRING 2019
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).
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