La Sagrada Familia

Passage #33

Warm spires are blooming in the sky.

Our eyes rise up like a magic

trick, a diversion from the sleight

of hand below: the church is cold.

We puzzle out sculptural scenes:

Mary cringing before Gabriel

on the Joyful Façade. Relief:

twelve-year old Jesus lost and found

teaching rabbis in the Temple.

I find it irksome to pray here

amid the selfies and preening.

On the Passion Façade Judas

kisses Jesus; the blockish stone

juts out toward us awed viewers.

Numbers? The mystic cryptogram

yields up seventeen betrayals.


Yesterday a young man troubled

by hidden grievances set fire

to the sacristy, robes, and the crypt.

Despite smoke, tourists tackled him.

Today we smell a whiff of burn.

Three million paying tourists fund

this Expiatory Temple

with or without their sins and faith.


On this overworked stone canvas

the Glory Façade will be last.

The church needs its resurrection

from power, pedophilia,

“We must not give any scandal”

of pope and shuffling bishops.

Life, if the priest is quite removed.

“They have taken away my Lord.

I don’t know where they have put him.”

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