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Lee NashAugust 17, 2023

Nine o’clock: the host has not been put away.
The church decants its parishioners,
leaving the Saint-Sacrement unadored, trapped
in the wide-angled eye of its monstrance.
The priest forgot, distracted by the fire
in the presbytery, the church triathlon,
and social media posts of the diverting kind.
All night, God peers from his gilded case,
nothing to do but wait for morning
and soak up the prayers of the world—
Help me, Lord—I’m trapped in the boondocks,
in the city, in a sump of a marriage, in a toxic job,
in the clamp of debt, in sickness. Don’t forget me.—

then to be sheepishly rescued and, quite understanding,
wafted back to the ambry, safe in human hands.

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