The monks at the retreat were
pickled, ugly. Chanting children who
spent so much time considering the world that
they could no longer see it.
The nuns wore their habits well -
a quarter of gin before evening worship.
Routine and rosaries, rounded bellies.
Modern life terrified them, fossil-like
in their airless buildings.
The scientist wanted everything to
deconstruct into digits, to brag
that even magic was a simple equation.
Each night, they shunned sleep, trying
to formulate love.