Snake oil smudges on my receipts, and one of me is born every day. Plate passing can’t pass
over the sackcloth clad congregants seated in ass-oiled pews. Pay to pray thy kingdom comes
before my rent bill, before my loaves and fishes evaporate. It is a miracle to have a hat for my
hand, what with the cost of frescos. Splendor is splendid indeed because we couldn’t feel you
unadorned, but by whose accounting is alabaster grandeur? Fine vestments and the rest hold
us fast to the breast of sacrifice, to giving only what is coveted. We want a glimpse of you, take
my eyes then. You gave us hunger to ask us to fast, ears to hear the new organ speak in
dragged notes that we hope you heed. In the beginning, you created leaven and dirt. Consider
my offering a seed, a teeny wish that the reward will be greater than the sum of my shallow
pockets, my penny candy communion.
Christopher Grosso is the author of the novels “Godfat’s Door,” “Mauled,” and “Mouth to God’s Ear,” all published by Crossroad Press. His full-length play, “Odor of Sanctity,” is published by Monologue Bank. His collection of poems, “Philadelphia Swank,” won the Thirty West Publishing 2017 Chapbook Competition and was released that same year. His poems have appeared in dozens of journals and magazine. He earned and MFA from Brooklyn College and an MA from Cabrini University. He lives outside of Philadelphia and is Director of Communication for the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians), Eastern Province.