For the Faithless Minister, Falls County, TX

by Landon McGee

You’ve heard it said,
without God there is no morality.

You’ll lose everything.
When your grandmother looks at you

she’ll see you burning forever in agony.
In the mirror

your face will seem foreign
as a burial mask.

You’ll lose
your means for repentance.

This will make it hard
to heal.

For a while, the birds will seem like ash
arranged in the shape of birds,

the eyes of your wife
like empty wells, as she pleads with you to be

what you were before.
Find it in yourself to feel forgiven.

You’ll turn in your key
on a Friday in the summer, go out on the land

to the old oak, sacred place of your youth,
pray into the black.

Wait in the darkness for an answer. Know at last
He’s never coming back.

LANDON McGEE is a poet from Central Texas. He currently lives in Fayetteville, where he is an MFA student at the University of Arkansas. This is his first publication.