One time when I was a young man
I caught the scent of the priest
Through the tannins of the communion wine.
He smelled like my father
On the morning that he buried my mother.
I had just married. My new wife
Kept two paces behind me
In the communion line.
Taking the host was still a new thing for her.
Father kept the cologne on a shelf by the toilet.
He was particular in his things.
Mother was more disorderly.
The scent made me think of Mother
As an angel. I could sense God’s love,
Even though he punished her in life.
My hand sometimes strays to my lips
As I wait in line to take the body and blood
To prepare my flesh for a sacred passage
That is a path to absolution. Father said Grace
Was given to the worthy in a tone
That bespoke confidence. I am replete