Altar Call – Poetry by William Littlejohn-Oram

Eugene Delacroix – Interior of a Chapel

When two or more are gathered together
is etched into the stone archway
above the wooden doors of the chapel.

Candlewicks inside are curled,
cold and crumbling on the white marble
of the altar. The storm outside

still seeps through the roof
into the offering basin below.
No one replaced the basin

today and the water has run over the edge
of the sanctuary steps
and under the front pews of the chapel.

A man sitting two rows from the back
tries to recall a thing forgotten
while listening to the rain outside

beat against the stained glass
in the windows above the altarpiece.
He forgets how he found himself

here, among the empty, splintered
pews. Perhaps it was to escape
the biting cold of the wind outside,

still whistling in the openings
of the chapel. Sirens ring out
from the city, working their way

between the heavy, lacquered doors,
over the pews and to the man’s ear,
twisting and curling in the space

until he recalls a name

About the Poet

William received a degree in Fiction from the University of Houston and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Poetry from Texas Tech University. He can currently be found in Lubbock, TX, wearing brightly colored shoes. His work is forthcoming in Inkwell Journal, Amethyst Review, and Ancient Paths.

For the first time in nearly five years, Vita Brevis is closed for submission. Read the full story here.

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