When  I was just a lad, lightening struck me from the pulpit.  Chosen of God to perform as the altar’s sacrificial puppet.  Upside down and porcelain skinned, he turned me inside out.  I felt that I had lost my voice and could no longer shout.  Silent statues stood and stared, the Madonna carved in stone, weeping bright red tears of blood:  I was never so alone.  Beads of the rosary slipped through my hands, clattered to the floor, on my kneels with an open mouth, waiting patiently for more.  The savior’s face is twisted in agony, nailed to a tree.  The curtain is rent, the robe is parted; a fleshy finger I see.  It points toward the Heavens as the priest fondles his toy.  With promises of good will, he will


the boy.