Friday, October 27, 2017

Examination for Self-Righteous Consciences

He whispered solemnly "The Blood of Christ"
I said: "Amen,"
not from my lips,
but from everything in
my sordid soul,
down to the angry quick—
small, stony pit—
that shivers and shudders
as grace like blood
rivers over it,
pushing, prodding,
trying slowly,
rushing relentlessly
to dislodge it,
bear it away downstream.

He murmured firmly: "I'm sorry"
I nodded (without motion): "I am, too"
then, as if stuck in a 35 millimeter reel,
I reach for the chalice in his hands,
blood quivering in the golden cup,
to drink a deeper draught than usual
to drown the forest fire inside me,
to erode the boulder burdening my heart.
Asperges me,
I pray, blood flowing down my throat,
Have mercy not on him,
but on she who never asks for mercy,
who cries not for her own sins,
but for others'.

He whispered gently: "Here's what you need."
Without a sigh, I lay my fury down and pray
Amen.

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