This Holy Enterprise

The troubled entrepreneurs of evening—
the palm-readers, the Mexican bracelet salesmen,
the girl who dances on a sheet of tin—
call out to me, turning for one second
their voices into instruments of love and attention,
promising love and attention, the Grail
of whatever singular prize I have longed for
and now found. I honor them all,
as I honor the priests
and the women who scream at the rain,
as I honor the envelope of bills and silver change
the boss hands me on Saturdays
saying This it my body. I have come around
to a pure absolution, gained—like a handful of grain
from the lords—by obedience, so that if I lie
all day Sunday like an effigy of myself, 
harmless on the bed,
listening to the rants and vows
rising from the street, it is not because
I consider myself grandee of a greater enterprise,
but a child who listens at the door of his parents’ room,
spellbound by the explanations they offer each other
as to why the world moves
like a brutish uncle, drunk, through the house.
It is a tone I listen for, an inflexion,
the moment when the argument breaks down
because someone can’t take it anymore.