- Graffiti Scrawled By Choirboys, St. Mary’s Church, Oxford
In the presence of reverence, boredom. Even this beautiful obligation they will remember years later, their voices gone hoarse, merits mockery. And so the choirboys of a hundred generations have scrawled their initials and shapes only they knew to be lewd in the wood with penknives concealed in their white robes and with furtive glances towards men who were once choirboys themselves, and whose initials are scrawled here also and thus must understand the impulse, amidst all this carved stone and stained glass, to cut one’s name in the blank grain before sloughing off the self and soaring into song. [End Page 101]
AUSTIN SMITH’s poetry collection, Almanac, was published through the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets. He currently lives in Oakland and teaches at Stanford University.