Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Monastic Valentine

When I left home at eighteen
to enter a remote monastery
I burnt all my poems
and gave away all my books
my clothes my history
I would take another name
and if I wrote another poem
I would sign it as anonymous
and add it to the flames
piety would fracture pride
I’d sing the psalms as if they were my own
in solitude my sins could hope
but I snored too much and sang off-key
and talked back to the pope
and so they sent me home

But I didn’t go there
at least not then
but cashed in
the plane ticket
they gave me
and found a job
filling orders in
a book distribution
warehouse to complete
my education stealing
the classics until
poetry returned
like a lost lover
and we settled down
alone in a blue house
on the edge of town

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