I grip the hollow goblet of despair.

I move with blunted madness down the street.

A weary nothingness is all I wear.

Behind me echo footsteps without feet.

A picture in my pocket shows the face

of one who looks with sadness on the earth,

who once bestowed the beauty and the grace

of God, but that was long before my birth.

Archangel Mi-cha-el! I cannot meet

your gaze! It burns my eyes with shameful light.

This self I am is darkness in defeat.

My hope has died; my faith has swallowed night.

Entranced, intoxicated by the day,

I nod to every pilgrim on the way.

from "Post-Existential Sonnets," Folio I
by Tom Mellett, Austin, Texas, 1987

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