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Absolution, a TR poem

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I notice you enter

Slender, suited, urbane

Your grey temple arches

Weighty above blue eyes

You stand at the altar

And bring forth the serpent

I watch you meet my eyes

Look away, then turn back

Smoky gaze like incense

Still as sacred statues

I move first, you follow

To make your confessions

Staring, silent; you smile

And I take you in hand

I tell my rosary

Into your trembling lips

At last, you genuflect

Cross your heart, hope to die

Wafer, flesh on your tongue

Swallowed like old sins

You watch me departing

Renewed, relieved, redeemed

I pause at the doorway

To look up at heaven


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