Patmos II

We parked our rented moped
outside the holy cave
where an angel told John
to write the Apocalypse

The burning incense beside
gold icons conjured a reverence
crumbling when a grey-bearded monk
shuffled in with cleaning supplies

With a dust-stained rag
and disinfectant spray
he scrubbed the worn
chalices and candlesticks

We listened to the brother
grumble before the altar
and the dust grime of the grotto
directed our reflections to flesh

And the lack of natural light
coming through the slits in the rock
and our growling pre-lunch bellies
and the different forms of exile

We began to laugh the laughter
that spins out of control if stifled
and proclaims the entrance
of heaven made earth


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