Let’s do something you’ll never tell
your friends about, my convenient wife.
Read me theology until holiness runs
deeper than my sackcloth and cassock,
take me to the back street barber
to see about my beard, and then let’s
split up. It’s too late for me to bugger
off to the Episcopalians and become
a bishop, which is all you ever wanted
through the jumble sale years,
when asking “What would Hegel do?”
was your answer to everything.
I will save my hairs in this leather
wallet labelled, Relics of a Saint,
ready for the bells and smells
of futuristic Edinburgh—cat-calling
choirs rattling pails after closing time
among winged taxis and unfinished
tramlines, like a cut of Bladerunner
directed only by CCTV cameras—
a confusing place to be religious.
Original appearance in Magma, 51.