Postlude to a Prayer-Book

A butterfly flaps its wings
into an empty church
and brushes the hand-rest of a pew
where one man sits penciling
into the brown prayer-book

a prayer to let go his thoughts,
to leave an open end…
The church is abandoned,
quiet except for one man sitting
alone and writing, furiously writing

with a broken pencil and a napkin
and a blank inside cover.
From there the man will go
outside, breathing fresh air
and exhaling memories of

broken stained-glass windows,
sharp and colorful, but dead
just the same;
and through the church will flap
the butterfly, over candles

blown out and cold, past
wood and velvet altars, among
the presence of an old cross
still hanging and out
the front doors still accepting.