A cool moon chimes softly in the winter sky,
swelling like a bell in an empty church.
The stars twinkle as soft as some nun’s sigh.
Tonight is lousy with liturgy. I search
for secular symbols, untouched, unglossed
by doctors of divine arcana. Black
as an old cassock, torn, carelessly tossed
upwards, this sky is a tangible fact.
I sully it with nuns and bells, the dust
of my lost religion. It’s a disease
I can’t cure or won’t. I mistake stardust
for ritual, moon for meaning. Cease.
Enough. I will look at things as they are.
I’ll learn to walk at night and just see stars.
Mark J. Mitchell’s novel, The Magic War appeared from Loose Leaves Publishing. He studied at Santa Cruz under Raymond Carver and George Hitchcock. His work appeared in several anthologies and hundreds of periodicals. He lives with his wife, Joan Juster making his living pointing out pretty things in San Francisco. A meager online presence can be found at https://www.facebook.com/MarkJMitchellwriter/