On what sacred platter does history
serve an agnostic meal? What the unbeliever wants
is to be the consumer instead of the dish.
This is the most human of our needs:
to fill the inner pit, keep the fire burning
in every splendid cell.
But life has become Swiss cheese
with an emphasis on holes.
Knowledge pulls apart like lettuce.
Beauty is lace gusting at the window.
What the priest holds outstretched
is a manmade miracle.
Like the faithful, the unbeliever
is given only one round piece.
He nibbles, analyzes its faint taste.
If he swallowed a plastic button
if he chewed a picture of the moon
if he sucked on a silver dollar
his body would not be fooled.