The congregation poured out onto the street. Their hands were on fire. But their lips were dry, some never touched by a human kiss. They saw a Sunday Bar, a place of ruin with a lone man standing at the door. His apron was as bright a white and as well pressed as a parson's collar. The bartender stared at the congregation, and wanted their souls. Something he could never find in a drink. They stared back and scorned him, he knew. He wondered if these people, their hands on fire, knew of a preacher in white cloth who drank with an old bartender late at night; the hour and place where secrets are kept.
The last of the congregation went by. The lone man walked into the grey church and said a prayer to the old preacher during the hour when his secret was kept. That place where an apron, bright and well pressed, moved in darkness and light. That place where a bartender and preacher clashed, and then wept.
Poems of the Week ~ The Whale Heard Around the World
19 hours ago