The Atheist Advises the Pastor

No one else will
ever see the stars you dream
so often.

so pencil-punch through
the black
lift it up
Make them see
when you
let your light shine through

Do not do more than this.

When you break bread,
Tell the tales you always tell
but if you tell the one about enough
for all, give it all away. Do not dare
waste a crumb.

You know what to do with the wine.

But should you speak of mountaintops
that you long to reach but
may never
Of temples that risk the sky
Or of a million souls rinsed clean
by your hand in a river you must reach,

remember just how long cardboard
really lasts, even covered in Hebrew
and Greek–
and put to bed
each one of those earthly ambitions

Choose to stay behind
bury the dead.

I’ve been thinking about vocation a lot thee days, and after reading this essay, a poem came out.


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