Catacomb Saint


     In the prison of your own making,
what you let in will determine whether or

     not you will be let out. On a throne,
holding a cup, in a garden fenced in by

     swords, fill in these gaps with those pieces
of your own life, knives perhaps, thrown in a back

     instead of a backyard, both chessboard
fortresses under siege, both hurting hard. For


     what it is worth, what pierces first burns
hearts worst no matter the words’ curse, courses as

     flame does pisses of spilled liquor dripped
careless across countertops. Libations to

     honour deaf gods from the confines of
a lover’s deafening silence’s dread death-

     sentencing incarceration, not
spoken but instead thought, prayer held in fragile


     theory for fear of getting caught
worshipping what first caused all to start and will

     cause all to cease, all to stop. Magic
imaginal & liminal seeking after

     their better intercessions’ rationed
molasses pulse-quickening liberation.

     Bars of wrought iron softened when hot
dropping from forming cage walls to hard floors as


     wax does, or flesh from bone into the
cupped palm of an inherited pot. Votive

     ashes tasked with mixing tears, potent
emotions endearing pain to ink, blinking

     on brinks to paint some life onto those
collages of corpses compiled to comprise

     new hopes from old losses, which us folk Catholics, relapsing from hidden grief, call


     catacomb saints. Imitations of
strangest, sacrosanct Christs tainted by our sins

     more sacrileged than even Mary
Magdalene, in her endless penitence, would

     have been when tempted as we have been.
Better, then, these straw-men strong-arming open,

     without his father’s judgment, heaven’s
trap-doors in those jarring moments our faith ends.