Benediction Boulevard

Benediction Boulevard

A Poem by jacob erin-cilberto

Benediction Boulevard




seven shadows fell

upon the embankment

as his hands reached into his pocket

to find

rest in the form of wine

his bottle almost empty

a host of hunger reaching into his pew

his knees sore from praying


in an alleyway confessional

and his priest, hidden in a paper bag of redemption


the sin, the coveting of his neighbor's good fortune

that house with the shutters, 

the picket fence

the little red door

opens now only to a shattered dream


he cut his credit cards years ago

then nearly cut his wrists the day after

gave his soul to goodwill

but found no contrition enough to get him off the streets


and the Gates of Eden are decorated with graffiti 

he whispers the " F" word under his breath

sleeps behind the trash bin his life has become

(hymnal for a pillow)


devil's dime for a small morsel

a wafer thin



his church is a congregation

gathered around a barrel burning with little heat

as his chapped lips

try to remember a prayer


but even that memory is as dim

as the color of the siding of the existence

he once knew

just before the altar boy snuffed out

the candles


as his mass draws to a close

and his breath begins to file out

of his dispirited body.




© 2019 jacob erin-cilberto

My Review

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Is homelessness a metaphor for loss of faith? Perhaps . . . Both are a sad thing . . . the loss of identity in the world for one . . . the loss of identity in heaven for the other. You paint a grim picture my friend. The extended metaphor is harrowing and the images chilling . . . I shutter at the harsh reality of both earthly and heavenly tragedies.

Posted 6 Months Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

6 Months Ago

thank you for your kind review, Tom,
A story of fallen faith, covetessness and seeking of redemption in the wrong places. To add insult to injury, prayers can't be remembered due to loss of memory. To be fallen into a form of addiction is to lose every freedom and blessing of it. I like to read this in a detailed story form. Powerful and memorable.

Posted 6 Months Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

6 Months Ago

thank you for your very insightful review, Sami...
appreciate your words,
Sami Khalil

6 Months Ago

You are welcome sir Jacob.
Such a profoundly sad account of a fallen catholic soul to homelessness and life at the margins of society where no one cares and there is no redemption. A very visceral write.

Posted 6 Months Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

6 Months Ago

thank you, John,
There's always a story to everyone on the streets, nobody does it willingly.
Some make it back, but I would say most die young and maybe that's a release.
The western world sure is a cruel one.

Posted 6 Months Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

6 Months Ago

yes, it is...thank you, Paul,
Hard hitting account of street life for some and why they have ended up there. Soul destroying stuff Jacob. Depressingly visual. Excellent portrayal.


Posted 6 Months Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

6 Months Ago

thank you, Chris,
Well done. Captured emotion of the streets found in word.

Posted 6 Months Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

6 Months Ago

thank you, Tilling.

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6 Reviews
Added on June 1, 2019
Last Updated on June 1, 2019


jacob erin-cilberto
jacob erin-cilberto

Carbondale, IL

Originally from Bronx, NY, I live in Carbondale, Illinois...teach English at two community colleges and have been writing and publishing poetry since 1970. Friending works two ways. If we have had .. more..


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