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ritual is the sacrament of a god

Published in the 2020-2021 Honors Journal at the University of Colorado, Boulder

black widows  
on the moss infested altar,  

pupil goned eggs,  
still rotting,  
on the church’s ash’s memories of psalms:

these escape the children hidden behind the veil of servitude.  

the crown of thorns tricks children down  
to consummation,  
their blood water turns to holy wine

and trickles  
into the communal chalice;  
is there comfort in a rosary  

the child asks, is there comfort in a rosary ?  

my child, that  
is no longer a rosary,  
and I know you still pray but  

it stopped being a rosary before I stopped praying too;  
we sink anyway, buried  
underneath our own funeral pyre cross,  

but incense will not exorcise us from what we did not know was wrong.  

even if the mantises self resurrect  
from the eyes of their self prescribed pentagrams,  
ask them if they heard singing  

in their coven of tongues;  
we can only invite them to listen  
while we hang our goat skulls  

and make nests. 

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