Trying

Hacked into the neural network,
the viral voice of the Accuser, fiat
crashing in:
Deny.
Gliding behind
the altar:
Make room, sinner.
The silver pieces gleam complacently.

The desert dwellers hunger and my lips are dry.
I watch my own hands try to conjure
bread from stones, strike wine from the rock.
Silver glimmers duplicitously.
The microphone amplifies my soundless cry;
my heart is gripped between my teeth.

Fingertip touches tarnish, silver
blushing at its complicity.
Wild beasts lap up wine like blood
and amble away, satisfied and pacified.
In a draught, the candle
flickers.
For a heartbeat, all I hear is blood
behind my ears:
Just keep praying.

About Rosalind C Hughes

Rosalind C Hughes is a priest and author living near the shores of Lake Erie. After growing up in England and Wales, and living briefly in Singapore, she is now settled in Ohio. She serves an Episcopal church just outside Cleveland. Rosalind is the author of A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing (Upper Room Books, 2020). She loves the lake, misses the ocean, and is finally coming to terms with snow.
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