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Present.

Tonight, I walked the streets of a town;
dusk had settled an hour ago,
streetlights lit a cracked sidewalk.
It was a lesson in being present;
to simply be wherever I was in that moment.
The drive-in diner smelled like summer grease.
My feet took me past the freshly churned earth
of a construction site. Smells of dirt and mulch;
the way the world would smell if it were untouched.
I stood in front of the church and found,
as I always have in the dark in front of a cross,
a peace that cannot be found any other place.
For a moment, I wonder if maybe Jesus is real after all.
I moved on; place to place, moment to moment.
I felt the sidewalk under my sneakers;
broken, uneven, hardened; bearer of memories.
So many stories have come across this place;
Flowers, purple. A tree that smells of pine.
The dut,dut,dut of fingers across a table.
A metal sign, dewy to the touch, shining silver.
Cars going forward and left and right and stopping,
softly speaking to the world; gasoline and diesel smoke.
The end of one moment is the beginning of another,
softly forming; circular.
For a short time, I was wholly present,
as I walked the streets of a small town.

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devil’s choir.

stained glass and steeples
crucifixion, gold Jesus
holy water in the offering plate.
preacher man prays,
piano man plays,
are you saved?
are you saved?
hard pews and a choir,
homecoming, bible study
welcome all,
come one, come all.

bring us your wounded,
just not too deep.
He bled for you,
but please don’t bleed on the pew.
please keep your rainbow ‘brellas
in the coat closet.
at your house.
it might be raining,
but this Bread’s not for you.
and you’re too dirty
for this holy water.
even Jesus couldn’t wash you clean.

stained with pretenses,
stabbed with a spire.
crucified in the public eye,
not worth as much as gold Jesus.
drowned by holy water
in the offering plate.
preacher man prays,
piano man plays,
are you saved?
are you saved?
hard hearts and a devil’s choir
no home to go to, church sign says
welcome all,
come one, come all.