‘I’ve come to exorcise the machine,’
He said, handing me his cloak
And scarf. His clerical collar
Gleamed in the dim, badly-lit hall.
I led him to my exercise bike,
Which he straddled with his large,
Overweight frame and began to
Pedal, slowly at first then
Furiously and as he pedalled,
His whole body began to fade
Until he disappeared altogether.
Hastily, I seized the brakes and
Gradually the priestly form
Emerged. I heaved a sigh of relief.
I rushed to recover his cloak
And scarf and as I helped him
I saw how his clothes hung on him,
How slimmer, almost ethereal he was.
He must have noticed my astonishment.
‘It’s the ghost in the machine,’
He said, as he left by the back door.