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POETRY
Church of God with Signs Following
Judson Simmons

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“And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”   
                                                - Mark 16:17 - 18

Boarded up, the windows are now
closed eyelids of the sleeping, and the silence
dressing this place hangs loosely

like a nightgown.  Everything about this place
reminds me of a painting:

                                         Still Life with God
Abandoning Them.

Where are their voices, those chants and tongues
once spoken?  Where are the poisons
they drank and the serpents held
                                                by the fierce hand of their vicar?  

All that was sacred is gone,
all that was holy is now forgotten… 

Those who pass on this road will
interpret the wind

                                    as the only tenant;
no longer do prayers hang from lips—
a room, once filled with a zeal for the passion,
is now empty. 

                                    The left behind
words of ardor are still and covered in dust.


Judson Simmons is a graduate of the Sarah Lawrence College Writing Program, and hold a BA in Writing/English from the University of Houston. He also holds an MSEd. in Higher Education Administration from Baruch College in New York City. His chapbook, The Hallelujah Hour, was published by Amsterdam Press in 2010, and my work has appeared in Pebble Lake Review, Evergreen Review, Folio--plus other journals.