Forgiveness

Down the boulevard

There is a little chapel

And inside of it, past its thickened iron-wrought doors,

Meet two strangers who will never meet again.

They talk over the sacrificial wine; they say grace together over two loaves.

They eat in silence.

One asks the other for his name.

It’s Eduardo

And he lives by the river. He makes his living

Giving guided boat tours of the local valley, crosscut

By two mountains, framed by them from both sides.

He has lived her his whole life, but he has never set foot inside this chapel until today.

It is Wednesday evening and no one is there save the two strangers.

I am very troubled,

Says Eduardo,

Troubled by what I have done,

Stolen kisses along the riverwalk with

One of the college boys from the city.

The other man cups his hands and tells Eduardo that he is forgiven.

Eduardo,

Without knowing why,

Believes what the man says to be truth.

He kisses him on the mouth and the other man kisses him back.

Down the boulevard

Eduardo walks on Sunday  to the little chapel,

Framed by fig trees half in bloom.

His pockets are full with a donation for the church.

He asks for the janitor,

A tall man,

Who slept the floor on Wednesday night,

Who prayed with him and

Offered him solace.

“There is no Wednesday janitor,” says the parishioner.

Eduardo fumbles for the words.

“But he told me his name—

He was called Jesús.”

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