If I were God, I would take refuge
in a humble cathedral
at the outermost edges of Earth,
a place where the faint and sickly scent of sulfur
bubbles up from the rocky ground
as if the devil himself were ready for a détente.
I would rush though fertile fields
and crawl over moss-covered crags
to sit alone in sacred silence
and escape that clamorous burden
of clinking pitchforks,
and prayers practically screamed,
as if their volume somehow
made them more important.
If I were God, that’s where I would be,
my head buried in my hands
and wishing I had a deity of my own to pray to.
But I suppose he and I have different ideas,
for I didn’t find him there
in that quiet little cathedral
at the outermost edges of Earth —
not in a pew,
not at the pulpit,
and certainly not in the crypt.
I only found one lonely monument
to man’s determination, to his faith,
to his conquering harsh and distant lands
in the name of some all-consuming belief
in an elusive, but absolute truth.
How stunning that monument seemed,
placed there against the
backdrop of an overcast sky,
among the taciturn ruins
of a long lost monastery
where countless men once lived and died.
I couldn’t help but to be moved
by this memorial,
by this modest shrine.
And I couldn’t help but to be terrified.