Poetry: Great Cathedrals

Great Cathe­drals
–George Bilgere
From The Good Kiss

Before a date, my col­lege roommate
Used to dri­ve his can­dy-apple red Camaro
Down to the car wash and spend the afternoon
Wash­ing, wax­ing, vac­u­um­ing it,
Detail­ing the chrome strips, buff­ing the fenders,
Spray­ing the big expen­sive tires
With their raised white lettering

That said some­thing like Intruder
Or Maraud­er, with a sil­i­cone spray
Until they were slick and dark as sex.
He pol­ished that car as if each caress,
Each pass of the chamois, each loving
Stroke of the ter­ry cloth would increase,

By mea­sur­able degrees,
The like­li­hood that in the immaculate
Front seat, with its film of fresh­ly applied
Vinyl clean­er, at the end of a cul-de-sac
Some­where above the campus,
She would con­sent to be rubbed
And buffed just as lovingly.

We do what we can,
And if God is no more impressed
By the cathe­dral at Chartres
Than by a right­eous­ly clean and cherry
Camaro, at least He can’t say
We haven’t tried

With all our might to con­ceal our fear
That we have lit­tle else to offer
Than stained glass or pol­ished chrome,
The elbow grease of our good intentions.

So I’m hap­py to see
That in the Christ­mas card pho­to he sent
Mark stands, bald­ing now,
With a dig­ni­fied gut, a pret­ty wife,
And a cou­ple of nice-look­ing kids, in front
Of the great cathedral
Like the sweet vision of a future
He’d been vouch­safed one day
Long ago, through Tur­tle Wax
On a gleam­ing hubcap.

Cur­rent Mood: 🙂con­tent
Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
Posts created 4241

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