Notre Dame or The Atheist

What vaults, and well lit
and the gloaming cross, witness
the infidelity of the throng.
They fill the looming vaults with talk:
the talk of the street, or the dining hall.
The many silent signs, supplicant, are passed
just as broken beggars on the street are passed –
“I don’t have the money” – lied to, ignored.
Wasn’t this worth more, I think, than that?

They say: I don’t have the time to be quiet,
to waste my trip, wasting on an unspoken diet
It’s a husk, inhabited by so many worms
eating, slowly, the pews
and drinking the holy water
which was only water after all, after queues
like that in their plastic bottles.

But what vaults, and well lit.
Couldn’t they just be quiet?
Just for a little bit?

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