I saw you kneeling in the pews while choir sang its song.
You had the psalms for your despair written on your palm.
The man stood at the door, divulging your transgressions.
“I’ve tried for many years—” you said— “to kill off these obsessions.
“Instead, poor Suzy paid the price, and Amy, Tommy, Jim.
“Katerina intervened. ‘Get away from them!’
She screamed and kicked her feet until
she screamed and kicked no more.”
You cried and shook your fists.
The man opened the door.
“Did you enjoy your time on earth?”
“I must admit, t’was rough.
“I don’t mean to sound ungrateful or put up a fuss.”
At that, the man put forth his hand, relinquished quite a laugh.
“You get to do it allll again.”
You smiled, but said, “I’ll pass.”
“Your sins are much too great for me to hand over a favor.”
“The trip was tiring,” you said.
“Can we discuss this later?”
I never saw a bargain from a woman whose life was gone.
“I’ll tell you what,” the man began. “Kneel, sing me a song.
“And if you wouldn’t mind—” he said— “do me a little dance.”
He raised his hand, the choir hushed, you followed his command.
He turned to me, lips to my ear and whispered, “Where’s the book?”
I set it free, he opened it.
“My dear, here, take a look.
“Your dance was pleasing. I’m prepared to grant your every wish.”
“Finally,” you said, chin up. “I want this—”
“You’ve got to sign your name,” he said. “In blood. Right there, that line.”
“Sounds like a contract. Used to those.”
“I guess it should be fine.”
You quirked your mouth. “It doesn’t matter. You see, I have no soul.”
The man did stagger, scratched his head and wrinkled up his nose.
“You got a blade?” you asked the man, and he reached for his knife.
“Sir, your claws.”
“Ah, yes, that’s right.” He gave a little slice.
You drizzled damn near half a page and sighed. “The deed is done.”
Your soul departed. You watched it go.
The man flicked his tongue.
Don’t ever think I’ve felt a soul as radiant as you.
“Kneel,” said the man. You fell between the pews.
“A lovely girl.” He took a seat, waved the choir along.
“Yes, she was,” I said and sat to hear the song.