This girl I see, she is weaving through the nave,
Punching her passage against the turnstiles
And kicking up faceted coal-dust
As bottles drag about her ankles, chiming out
A melody on the dusk-specked kerb.
Her neck looks stiffened, thrown back and held
In rapture, euphoric bracing on her shoulders,
More bones that crunch together – mechanised
Elbow joints that throw another measure down
This gullet now throbbing full of song.
A tuneless hymn, the Lord’s Prayer bounces of the windows
And throws my eyes to meet the gravel.
What attention burglary is this?
“Our father, who art in heaven” and all the rest
Echoes around the old walls, as dry and dusted
As any out in the sticks.
They’re falling from the shop front now –
Pockets dripping with strange incenses,
Begging for deliverance, some small bread, some change
As nylon flashes and tears on kneel-worn legs.
Staring now, I cannot help but pick up the tune
“For Thyne is the kingdom, the power and glory
Forever and ever, Amen’.
I too am picked up by the wave, and am dropped into another bar
Where forgetfulness is granted, where sins are washed
Down gaping throats.
The congregation is voided from the door, the guardian
Wishes us luck, for a penny. And pissed, we chant
Some holy names, and laugh with absolution,
Cross ourselves against subway tiles
And think on oblivion before
Waking up in agonies, and a will to keep the Sabbath pure.