The Almighty, Dollar.
This new religion is expensive.
They’ve housed it in
hard-edged, corporate churches
with the names of deities displayed
over their respective stalls.
There are tailors
and adorned effigies in abundance.
A bar in the Saks
so they can shop drunk,
wake up and sing the hymns of Saint Amex
over more cocktails.
High on censers full of friction-burned plastic,
jerking down the white aisles to receive communion
suspended from marionette strings and
stuffed with polish and dog fur and overpriced iced coffee;
that’s how the other half gets closer to God.
The doors are unlocked and
admission is free, but acceptance?
That’s granted by birthright.
Try to walk in their shoes
and they’ll let you know it.
The way they look at you and
the way they speak
will both be “down.”
If you won’t feed the gleaming arteries,
they want you gone.
You could stand at the heart of their vast racks of clothing,
breathing the scent of new fabric like pine,
and still be outside.
It will sweep you up,
this shiny scarecrow church.
Muddle your head,
blind your eyes,
and empty your pockets
before you can mutter “amen.”
So if you enter,
step lightly and lively;
it might not be long before you have to run.