In the bright pause of a window
brittle arms of erstwhile pine cross
in mock religiosity, embracing
all uncleanliness, including birds feet
and death.

On this side, time is as loud
as the vacuum roaring in her hand,
waiting to begin again its hungry progress,
transferring threads and pebbles
out of sight, like a wheeled and electrified human
hoarding every undesirable fragment
in its bloated belly.

Everything in the world
except for us
allows the ugly things. The meaningless shards,
the pieces that follow us
in nightmares. Why we are so restless
is the question keeping theologians
in fever and psychiatrists paid
and drives us back to a quiet bench
beside a vineyard filled with birds,
leaving the dirty floor
and the dead tree
to their own unbeautiful devices
and stuffing the corners of the soul
with little pieces of tissue,
white and absorbent
and soft to the touch.