Sanctifies the sacrifice in the bodies of saints,
makes holy the suffering, passes down
the conviction that pain is life, and God approves,
and we look to men as confirmation. They show us
how they bleed, open their arms, invite
repetition to reify the cuts, deify injury under the many
names of faith that say this life will end soon
enough, you can give up everything, hand over your labor
your body your children to whoever owns the money, freely,
your imagination your thought since even your soul
is God’s. And, after breath ceases, you will arrive
like magic in a heaven elsewhere, then—never now.
Now is for blood, poverty, denial, covering
life’s indignities in a shroud of wool tatters, hair shirts,
tear-soaked strands spilling over repentant shoulders,
tankard of oil ready for the messy work of healing. Divine.