Congregation

patterned prayers titter over waves
of solemn parishioners rueful reciting
echoes of eager unearned blessings

voiceless vague I bend bow kneel
knowing nothing of your stern truths
needing more than harsh your verses

stones alone coldly welcome my steps
over tearful trodden paths of marble
enshrouded seamless by morbid time

glance askance as disturbed you prefer
at solitary wanderers smelling of lilac
but boldly bedecked I taunt your malice

take from me naught but what I will,
demand of me nothing you would not
willingly of yourself to paupers proffer

cease your pointless eviscerating prattle
cradling more of deliberate arrogance
than humility in your sickly embrace

how dare you honest hearts condemn
while confessing lies to salve your souls
wrapped in pretentious self-adoration

there is more truth in sorrowed silence
greater precision in the wail of a child
than in all the boastful prayers you utter

naked

i cower naked
at your feet
astonished
at the brevity
of my aging pride
humiliated
by the myriad eyes
that look away
from unworthy i
undeserving
unreservedly keening
the loss of me
pettily preened
with wanton seeming
still believing
that i might yet
(when beheld by you)
be more than this

i crouch naked
at your feet
bereft of whim
somberly pleading
bleeding words
without meaning
my knees creaking
my bones speaking
of time and dust
my flesh trembling
in the frigid light
of the moon
dissembling a calm
i do not possess
while yet hoping
that i could somehow
(when loved by you)
be more than me