Aislebound his hungover frame shuffles on
Endeavoring to unogle his bloodshot eyes from
The curvaceous backside of his foregoer as
Fat Tuesday’s testosterone mocks the calendar.

Ashes to ashes… mumbles the sableclad priest,
Palm Sunday’s cremation in his tiny silver urn.
He sticks out his filthy thumb to oncoming pates,
Hitchhiking his unmerry way toward Holy Week.

Gallows humor, this finger-painting rite,
Morose smearing of soot onto scalps,
A dirty cross gilding with grey his dirty mind as
A shield from, or target for, hell’s archers.

She’s ashen now, her dermis crisscrossed with
Flakes of charcoalish snow befreckling her nose.
Blankly into the grim face of Father Reaper he stares,
Stepping forward into his own birthing grave.

With the augural stuff of corporeal decomposition,
Up and down, left and right, he slathers on the tau,
Warning, Remember, O man, that thou art dust…
And lust, he mocks in mute self-condemnation.

And to dust thou shalt return, the minieulogy ends,
As he begins his Lenten pilgrimage with fire’s fruit
Kindling recognition in this foolish child of heaven
That on his dusty flesh, God stoops to write Beloved.