The altar rail is a microcosm
of a universe
held together by sacrament.

Imposed ashes speak
louder than the words.

The priest says
“Remember thou art dust."
But in their eyes, and his, it sounds more like
“This year, or perhaps next,
I will commend your ashes, not these."

“The body of Christ”
is heard in ten thousand ways,
most of them unspoken.

The altar rails is
the cosmos in micro.