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God came wrapped in black morocco
sandwiching crisp thin history
smoothed from the crumpled page of time,

and the boy on his knees in the passage
thumbing at the emptiness of the unknown
found only contradiction in the black and white.

As the young must do he questioned and hoped
but no miracle came, no burning bush
his mind and heart beat on unchanged.

All summer long the preacher droned
wearing away the logic and the doubt,
“You have to believe, to understand.”

The boy on his knees in the passage prayed,
accepted, allowed himself to be saved:
but walking home that heavenly night

doubt returned from the unchanged stars,
the desolate emptiness beyond,
dumb morocco black.

 

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