The Priest – Alex Feldman

He was dressed like one
Black shirt, black coat
The white thing in the middle
Counselor of the faithful
Bestow-er of advice
Unlike me
He thanks God every day
Without god there would be no Priests
That’s not to say
There is or is not a god
He walked onto the
Peak-hour train
Who knew they travel?
There he stood
between two empty seats
The one next to me and the one a row ahead
He glanced at me
Then the Father chose
the seat in front
On top of this holy insult
Times were tough
I could have used a forty-minute ride
With a black-and-white-collared man

I told myself
Don’t take it personally
The faith in the holy has become increasingly more holey over time

Sometimes the world crumbles and quakes
The church loses members each instance

Next I found myself atop a barstool
Ordering a vodka, neat

“Isn’t it a little early for a drink like that son?”

“Time never calls for a drink, only circumstance”
I responded

With each warm sip
a most comforting thought
fortified in my mind

Perhaps the man was not a priest
he just dressed that way
so people would listen

The bartender walked back over:
“The goal of life is to be upset at what you are losing when you know you are about to die”

I left and called a girl I couldn’t much stand sober
I brought over a bottle and spent the night
Things would be ok until morning


Alex Feldman is a writer from New York City. He is influenced by writers such as Alan Sillittoe, Celine, Charles Hamilton and Sean Nelson. Tony Hoagland’s poem “In a Quiet Town by the Sea” saved his life in 2012. He loves to listen to jazz as he writes. His work has previously appeared in Silver Apples Magazine.

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