The Patron of Purgatory

By Philip C. Kolin - Hattiesburg, Mississippi, USA - 27 August 2015



for St. Tolentino



taper thin as the dawn

you emptied yourself

to be filled with God


who at the Consecration

brought souls to you

hungry for the light


and you heard

their famished cries,

blind mouths begging for


a star above the altar

you could see them

dark flowers, rotting fruit.


then you blessed

each one by name

and saw them fly


toward heaven --

dismembered now

your outstretched arms


still free souls caught

in the kingdom between

bread and ashes.