PAPAL ENCLOSURE

JASON BARRY

 
 

       For he is not a God of the dead,
       but of the living: for all live unto him – Luke 20:38

 
I am roused by the piquancy of citrus rind and clover.

Sister Anna in the room next door, and four priests

hovering near cathedral’s step, minding their books

and incense in a nonsensical kind of way―a learned

pageantry that only God’s family could understand.

I’m strapped tightly to the altar, and my feet smell of

licorice. Yanking hair from my head, armpits, breast,

a deacon weaves paintbrushes for his monastery lining.
 
They haven’t told me why there’s lemon in my mouth,

or given reason for taking me captive. Have I joined

the sickly fashion, become member of cloistered ranks?

These men are sadists in bondage adoration, death!

Help me, Anna, to escape the prison that holds me slave.

Cover me in almond dust and purple, honeysuckle wine.

Perform miracles from a tome of forbidden parchment,

until this brood of devilish morning has come to pass.

 

 
 

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