Kate Koenig

In the sanctuary, dim-lit
by rows of flickering candles
shielded by crimson glass
sheltered from other and—other still

humble yourself before our Savior.
Before a God born Man.
Before sacrifice born from collective depravity,
of flesh made whole and partly and none at all

Kiss the ground you fall on.
Collapse yourself against his most Sacred Heart
O Heartless and pining, capitulate once more, once more
once more—until bruised. Kiss that wooden cross
beneath the burden of nailed feet broken by iron.

Break yourself upon the hallowed ground, Amen.
Sacrifice your transitory heart upon his altar
Let our Holy Words flood that which serpent-tongue speaks,
a deceiver knows lies so sweet they sting.

Are you stung? Do you overdose
on honey-love, drowning in perfume
of hyacinth and meadow-lily. You wildflower,
you vine against brick.

Fling against heaving chest, we pray—
Prick your thorny finger and fill up
thy communion cup with rainwater
blood and incense.

In God’s Name—other still, we pray.
Cast out the clover-honey from your chest,
let sacrifice toll in ear and throat and piercing heart,
exclaim! Who would save you?
Child of after rain
Who would save you?

Kate Koenig

Kate Koenig is a queer writer and photographer currently living between Brooklyn, NY and Houston, TX. She is a current Creative Writing MFA candidate at The New School and earned her BA in English and History at the University of Pittsburgh.

Issue 22
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