Disproportionately thin with respect to length
it seated 600
climate controlled – literally
hypoxic heat in summer
coat unremoved cold in winter.
Economics, comfort accedes to percentage
full only on Sundays
weddings of distinction
funerals of tragedy, or high birth.
The road to salvation narrow and winding
air conditioning distracts suffering.
In the 1960’s Sundays are mandatory
worship as insurance
no one messed with a God
able to part and close the Red Sea.
Catholicism in the time of Kennedy
then not known to be no saint
church, convent, catechism and for chosen ones,
selection as an altar boy.
Altar boys, supporting actors
jostling squeaky voiced ambition
clambering from reluctant beds to early morning mass
foregoing TV serials for mid-evening benediction
climbing the marble pole to top billing – High Mass on Easter Sunday.
Monday to Saturday 6:30 a.m. sharp
Wednesday and Friday, 7 pm –
30 people : 95% female.
Punctuality as determinant of sex
men arrive and depart with speed –
the pony express – exactly on time
women 10 minutes early …. remain 10 minutes after.
The men wear suits and prosperity
the women fatigue and worry lines
they linger climbing into best before cars
the priest scurries to breakfast or TV nodding approval.
Win Win –
faith provides alibi for time out.