Among Them

I’m not a believer, but I love
sitting among them. They smell
of old books and older salt.
Hatfuls of rain.
Their odor hangs on my skin.
Like sex. Like vinegar.
Cocky mitochondria drunk on their own DNA,
they become what they must.
They fit into the mahogany pews
like petrified saints, their willowy breath
the scent of violets.
I inhale it like raw sunshine.
Among them, I’m a fume of quicksilver,
an anti-body fighting the urge
to crush well-groomed poodles,
a syringe loaded with sodium pentothal,
ready for anything, and ready to confess.
Believe me, I love the empty gesture
as much as the next guy.
But there’s something about a Sunday
full of blue hair and promises,
old ladies rinsed in the same words
over and over again.
I admire their sturdy fuselage,
the way they accommodate the mundane
and the spectacular. Walking among them
I’m a wind sock
humming itself white, an orgasm
of pentecostal proportions
just within reach.
Touch me and I’ll deny everything.

Chris Semansky | Mudlark No. 20
Contents | Trying To Survive The Flood