i went to a cathedral today
knelt on red velvet
in a vestibule
of a religion
not my own

lit a green glass votive candle
the same color as your eyes

i’ve finally forgiven you

but maybe i only came by that
because i defeated you

in the process
helped save another person’s life

my lips needed no intermediary
speaking directly to grace

i prayed for the salvation
of your undeserving soul

my steady hand
dropped a two dollar bill
in the donation box
remembering
what together felt like

the only thing you ever said to me of value
as we counted church steeples
from a high rise window
in downtown cincinnati
was

a person must have unwavering faith

i no longer believe in you

and though i don’t claim to know what it is

i believe

in the goodness of god