Your Sanctuary Lamp

Abby Mason

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga



In your clandestine gaze,

I greet you

The Martyr,

nailed above the marbled altar


I genuflect,

nearly taking a bow

Blood draped like lace against my cheek,

porcelain skin corroded from your provocation


Oh, most splendorous Lord,

teach me civility

with a tilt of my chin and

the wax from your sanctuary lamp

cascading down my torrid tongue


Tell me,

did you hear the organ sound?

The oozes and the creaks,

the laments and the hymns


Look there,

beyond the stained glass

see how the women weep

for I

was not the only one


Let us congregate,

Oh, Gracious Prince,

for your heart is a vast cathedral

with crowded pews of corpses that


have denied accountability for


But you still hold the chalice of our blood










Daily Stab of Hunger


I have become your meal

You have a

ripe hunger for pricks at my neck

where your canines can cannibalize me,

swallowing my integrity

and corrupting my bloodstream


My knuckles are bound in cloth

Your salvation requires intimacy,

a shattered notion, a joining of our organs

My handprint on fogged glass is a tourniquet

made of a disfigured portrait

I have tried to sculpt into forgiveness


My abdomen is sealed in your art gallery

Your caress has become a citric delicacy

I cannot deny I have a taste for it,

for our flesh to blur inside of our Church

and to steep our holy water in moonlit blood


My lips are best saved for last,

our tacit appetite

abiding       evolving

into the reckoning

we designed

for one another









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