To an Atheist
by Tad Tuleja
What does it profit you, Sir, to needle
those down on their knees?
What’s the payoff for slinging that sly smile
against their door,
that Voltaire grin fixed at aloof
that pillories the priest
and sends the child clinging to its nurse
weeping to bed?
Is there not enough misery afoot
to check your dagger,
to make you halt for one moment
of irrational mercy?
And should you prove correct, what then?
What laurels will you drag
to our common destination, to the earth
that governs us all
in the end? What tale will be told
of your passage here
devoted to ensuring that innocents