He wears thin skin and
Sufferer’s Crown,
Not out of piety,
Not out of courage;
But rather a private
And silent surrender,
Capitulation of the soul.

The weakest among them,
Willingly blind,
See not the grifter,
Spiritual drifter;
But rather a shepherd
Unraveling darkness,
Even as it swallows them whole.

This poem originally appeared in the 2009 collection Sixty-Six.