A Hollow God


Without blood sacrifice, no God can kill.

We built our temple around his living form,

Left space for him to breathe our sullen prayers,

Room to move around us, and a plot

To bury our dead inside his edifice.

Walking now around the ruins, it seems

No Atlas bears the monument to Atlas.

We wonder at their wonder, years ago,

Take pictures of the grooves around the altar

Where death and worship drained from animals.

Yet the temple stands. We cannot tear it down:

We built our roads around it, kept it there

As a landmark, for our cities and our speech.

And talking to the fellow at the bar

Who swears to god there is no God to swear to,

And in his absence speaks the one true name

Of a hollow god, we emptily Amen.