Invitation to an Empty Church by John Sibley Williams

Invitation to an Empty Church


In the rafters: hungry, silent mice.
Down below: the civilized ask light
to forgive them mediocrity.

The light they seek is a cage
in the rafters
above glass stained in saviors,
where holes fall from holes
in the ceiling.

The women pass coins onto plates
like brooches to grandchildren
who will never wear them.

Someone knocks at the sealed door
but won’t be let in.
Nobody remembers how they entered
or if light ever completes.
A great voice asks the windows
mirror-questions, and we pretend
we haven’t lost our reflections.

The day is rain outside us,
leaking in.
The mice scurry for cover.
Song erupts,
fills the holes
in the rafters
left by dreams,
and proudly we join
the organ’s ascension
and forget
what it means
to pick ourselves up
from a fall.

John Sibley Williams
John Sibley Williams is the author of Controlled Hallucinations (FutureCycle Press, 2013) and six poetry chapbooks. He serves as editor of The Inflectionist Review and co-director of the Walt Whitman 150 project, and he has been winner or finalist for the Pushcart, Rumi, The Pinch, and HEART Poetry Prizes.

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