Drinking Holy Water in the Sacred Grotto

 Sacred grottoAll my life, I’d vowed to go there,
Immerse myself within the sacred grotto,
Drink the holy water as I swim.
But by the time I finally got there
It was closed—inner sanctum roped off.
Well to hell with that!
Damn if I’d allow the Church
To stop me at the final steps of pilgrimage.
Taking in the world with just a glance
To arrogate for myself,
I broke two panes of glass,
Reached through the window carefully—
I did not want to cut myself and bleed as Jesus did—
Unbolted lock and strolled straight through the gate.
Down the slippery, mossy steps I flew,
Walked around the final rope—
And there it was:  the Sacred Pool.
The shoes came off and then the pants,
Soon while skinny-dipping I prayed
No lifeguard would be my last undoing
As I dove under crystal water of the cave.
My God—spring water’s so damn cold!
Quickly shivering, my hot anger drained away,
Swimming like porpoise with a purpose—
Forgive me for saying this…
Though the waters were the sweetest,
It was sweeter in naked defiance.
I loved there was no artificial light—
Only joy to fleeting float into the sadness of dark soul,
To finally stand upon the sandstone steps…
In contemplation of Tchaikovsky’s mysterious death.
I sipped last sip of holy, cleansing water,
Yet holding still dry catholic secrets deep within,
Put on my pants and shoes and socks.
I struggled up the steps, put on my shirt,
Stream of thoughts already changed,
Still seeping, flowing through my mind—
I slipped out the door to argue with an angry guard.


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