by Ronnie Sirmans

The online newspapers report about iPads  
and Surface tablets at worship services;
printed Bibles are no longer de rigueur.
But I’ll miss the Scratch & Sniff Bibles
that were so popular for a printed time:
the scents of wild waste from Noah’s ark, 
the stench of thousands of drowned animals 
after the waters receded. A smell of smoke
like Lot’s Burgers upon a grill of cities
burning on the plain. That floral perfume 
lingering from Job’s wife in her absence.
Now, testaments to finger-swiped verses,
annotations at the tap of an oily finger,
smooth smudges for devices’ stained glass. 
The Greatest Story Ever Told resurrected
in high-def resolution on YouTube or Hulu
while congregants rejoice in their senses.
Taste is next. A detachable paper strip
to lick. Bread. Wine. Salty Jesus tears.

Ronnie Sirmans is an Atlanta print newspaper digital editor whose poetry has appeared in Fathom, Sojourners, Ekstasis, Reformed Journal, America, Heart of Flesh, and elsewhere.

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