O, viejas de negro!
How you line the front pews
at Catholic masses
like pushers sitting on street curbs,
rolling rosary beads—
like pills of black-tar heroin—
between jonesing fingers,
craving your next fixes of salvation,
visiones de Dios.
Such beastly things
behind those lifeless veils of pitch!
Those guttural mumbles
under respiraciones y lenguas,
drunk with righteousness,
acrid and rank
with the smell of death
and the sour of Communal wine.
Spells of atonement, maybe?
Curses of chastity?
Oraciones por mi?
Oh, I think not! (Creo que no!)
Why shouldn’t our ecstasies—
in all their corporal glory—compare?
Aren’t Heaven’s truths just as easily scried
of gas-streaked street puddles…
…the glorious freckles of smooth, bare backs and shoulders…
the shapes left behind in dampened sheets the morning after?
O, divine geomancies!
How I love
our alchemy—the transmutations
of magnificent bodies of light
and living streams that shimmer hot and wet,
setting skin and lips
(nuestra piel y labios)
All that is good is gold,
but nothing gold can stay*
for even the most treasured of God’s sparrows
fall from flight,
upon the holy stabs of His Electric Crown of Thorns.
So, let’s dwell on patches of fragrant grasses
and sip (not sin) from our gardens’ springs
O, sacred elixir!
partaking of flesh and blood—
devouring, ‘til all is gone,
against shadows of cold piety
cast by dark, ringless Brides of the Lord,
before the hues of the day bleed away
into pale shades that
powder and crumble to dust
under the gravity of God’s thumb
*Line taken from Robert Frost’s “Nothing Gold Can Stay” (1923).
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