Over 40 years
at the cutting edge
of poetry publishing
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Michael O'Neill, from Wheel

Guilt

At the grille, I grassed on myself,
owning up to all the sins I could muster —

all but that one, the act
not to be spoken of, the sin against,

if not the Holy Ghost, then any chance
of looking God straight in the eye...

A door closed and a skylight disappeared.
In due course it was out into the world

where everyone has views — relief, at first,
then a dull hurt as the years pass

and the views grow verbose or taciturn,
and you wake in the full-blown dark one night

with the absurdest fear you can't expel,
that never again, not in all eternity,

will you be permitted to genuflect
while the sun flares through the great rose window.