Body of Christ
The church on Stradomska Street has removed
the pair of steel penises from the front steps.
My wife thinks because the priest saw her taking photographs.
They weren't the first ones we found - those grace the entrance
to a Viet-Chinese restaurant on Karmaliska -
but they were the biggest, a foot and a half long,
drooping like stale lilies, thick as French bread,
beautifully weathered by exposure to snow and rain
and scuffed by toe tips of people tripping up the steps.
There, we decided, to protect the steps,
divide the flow of foot traffic. We passed the church
walking to the old Jewish quarter, where Spielberg
shot Schindler's List, and each time my wife
got skittish and giggly half a block beforehand.
It wasn't just the size and obvious phallic model,
the smooth round shaft and the mushroom head,
it was the location, a hard-on on the way to the altar.
Put there for young brides to contemplate as they
entered the church, hymens intact and tingling?
Symbolic sops for nuns to remind them of sacrifices made?
Joseph Campbell somewhere connects the dots between bad brother Set
chopping up Osiris and throwing him into the sea,
and how the only part of the god that Isis couldn't find
was his penis, swallowed by a fish, which was why Catholics
eat fish on Fridays, though probably the average
schoolboy and girl in cafeteria line opting for fish sticks
over Sloppy Joes doesn't know that.
Whatever the reason for the phallic wands' disappearance,
I miss them. The twin spears made the Church friendlier,
a little closer to the earth we all must walk and return to.
I wonder if they were shipped off to the porn collection
rumored to be hidden under the Vatican?
One last relic from Poland's Pope.