Fat, wattled neck, encircled by the starched collar of eternity...unbroken life...

Lump of a body camouflaged by the black skirts of office,

Vestments concealing not only the great rolls of gross overindulgence but

Secrets of a life dedicated to the service of God.


Rapes of altar boys, seductions of parishioner's sons..

('twas whispered an orgy or two at the rectory...)

And a suicide by a rejected youth who jumped from the bridge

Spanning the Galatiz River.


But the homilies...O my friends!...the homilies were perfect, multi-faceted

Gems of wisdom, culled from the true doctrine of the Lord.

“Love ye one another,”...”Do no harm to your brothers in Christ,”...”Sin no more.”


All delivered in the intimate melodious tones of humility

Calculated to warm the chilled hearts of his flock and send them

Back into the world mesmerized by his stagecraft.


That night, lying in bed beside the

Bedraggled youth he had plucked from the dangers of the streets,

He bowed his head momentarily before his

Overstuffed hands greedily grabbed for the boy's thighs.





Funny...you were there all along
But I couldn't see you for the flawed flotsam

I had fashioned into demigods.


You were always there...my friend,
Warm, supportive, sensitive,
But I couldn't see you for the fantasy-men
I worshipped with such unrelenting desperation.


You were always there beside me,
Helpful, caring and kind,
But I couldn't see you because of my gnawing need
To feel hurt; to experience yet more anguish and rejection.


Mercifully, you were still there when
The mists of age-old myths
That had veiled my consciousness
Reluctantly relinquished their last wispy vestiges

And I finally broke free...

And for the first time I saw you standing there beside me

My love.


© Anya Laurence