Cathedral Kitsch

By Tracy K. Smith

Does God love gold? Does He shine back

At Himself from walls Like these, leafed

In the earth’s softest wealth?

Women light candles,

Pray into their fistful of beads.

Cameras spit human light

Into the vast holy dark,

And what glistens back

Is high up and cold. I feel

Man here. The same wish

That named the planets.

Man with his shoes and tools,

His insistence to prove we exist

Just like God, in the large

And the small, the great

And the frayed. In the chords

That rise from the tall brass pipes,

And the chorus of crushed cans

Someone drags over cobbles

In the secular street.