See the way religion ruins a body. A flake of hostia melts
in my warm mouth. He says “our pains infested his body,”

why then, am I asked to eat it? I stand before a pew, calm
as darkness—I dislike this cliché. How do I tell this pew

that my body eats me. That inside, I’m Israelites & sea; &
Pharaoh’s spear pokes my throat, nightly? They will burn

in my palms a Bible & ask me to count the ashes. As if
to say “your father is an elder. Don’t shrink his name.”

The sun, too, reclines to eclipse, some Sundays.
Depression chases me to God. Also, pulls me away from

him. The way a boomerang returns to its chokehold.
(The pastor gives me blood. Straight-faced. I drink. And

all the clawing demons in my chest get drunk, then sleep;
not die.)

♪ “Jesus knows all about my
struggles…” ♪

I look to the white soprano row, a lady burns the way
a mirror reflecting sunlight does—the same that visited

the bachelor in my compound last night—a grin bends
her face. I leak like a wound. She, too, dances to routine.



Photo by Eric Mok on Unsplash