The bishop who killed those people
Was in the wrong compartment.
After they ejected him from first class
He sat in his golden hat and asked
If I would take his confession.
I said that’s not my department.
Careful, or I'll kill you too, he laughed.
But can you tell the truth, I asked
Without a confession booth?
So me in the train toilet, him outside,
The door open a crack, he spilled
About those people he killed.
I guess he was a little loud
Because he drew a crowd
Some angry, some needing the loo.
And the bishop gave me his hat
And said turn your back
I have work to do.
He was quite a fighter
And taking back his mitre
Warned, this stays between me and you.
I said, God would forgive and forget
But he replied, I haven't told you yet
And he said why he killed those people.
I tried to listen blankly,
But frankly I failed.
His account was very detailed
Those people, he said
Were better off dead.
They try to kid you all
By talking of the individual
Instead of the violence that constitutes the social.
He’d read Zizek and was emphatic
That radical violence is homeopathic,
A way of curing a prior violence that is pervasive.
The bishop was quite persuasive.
After he was done I conceded
We all logically needed
To kill some people too.
But these were lies and in his eyes
As he smoked on the platform at Crewe
The bishop had tears.
He called me often over the next two years.
He didn't speak but that was fine
And I thought it kind to stay on line
To see if he had something to say
And we spent several hours that way.
Me listening, him not saying a word.
A few years later I heard
The bishop had thrown
Himself from his own steeple
Nothing to do with those people
I was told
He just got old.