absolution in absentia

(for M.)

there will be no cantata sung
over our bodies as we
breathe the stale air of your
hotel room

we brandish rage
throw ourselves against these
frail trestles
the palm of your hand pressed flat
against my white throat

later we rinse ourselves
in the thin trickle of grace
left rattling in these
unconsecrated pipes

our lady of hotel bars
our lady of anonymity
our lady of perpetual sorrow