by Benjamin Welton
In a Darkened Cathedral
The mass has been sung.
The parishioners have gone home.
They are already forgetting the Gospel.
The priest, an old man, is in bed.
I am the only one left in a rotten pew.
The gray stone walls leak with black moisture.
The candles flicker, then expire.
The incense no longer lingers.
Can Christ be found in such gloom?
Is redemption possible in decline?
Where is Christendom in the darkness?
Tonight, So Bright
Moon—it hangs there
dripping bright light
on sleeping eyes.
What stars there are, the dreamers say
as another night spirits them away.
There’s a weight—
I can touch it—
it is near
It moves and pumps,
but I fear
that, one day,
Like a clock or the sun
I’ll grab my chest
This worrying weight
its cup I drink
and toast the divine.
The Plague Ship
Darkness. The sweet smell of confectionary treats.
The organ strikes up, making each moment tense.
The mass is dressed in black.
Distended bellies, broken shoes, shirts wringed with sweat.
But, in the quiet twilight, they sit transfixed.
They watch the castle ghost bleed dry the capitalist.
They weep for the lonesome bride on the beach.
They study the mad doctor’s alchemy.
There, for over an hour, they ride the plague ship into Wisborg.
Never once do they realize the blackness they have swallowed.
The occult suggestions,
The call to unreason.
They are just glad to be away from the world
Where rain falls like bullets
And miasmic March fog dances like death mist.
Benjamin Welton is a freelance writer based in Boston. He has been published in Sanitarium, The Atlantic, Thuglit, Social Matter, and other places. His blog is The Trebuchet.