Vatican Gift Shop


I feel so very raw
Skin rubbed and scraped
Steel wool ragged
Every surface open
Bloody, layer after layer removed
Exposed muscle
Nerves connected to wires
Current turned up
Rigid, epileptic
Twitching, never ending spasm
Fish flopping on desert rock
Drowning in the bright shimmering air
Hallucinating oceans
Superimposed over smooth, slippery dust
Gasping, perfect last kiss lips
Parched, dry as bone
Dry as tears from decades ago
Just as impotent
Just as barren
Ribs open to the sky
A scuttled ship thrusting upwards
Jagged reminders pushing up
Through mold and grassy tussocks
Fragments to be stored
In blackened silver reliquary
All the tiny pieces reverently gathered
Buried in the deeper silence
Body become mineral
Spread out over a thousand velvet cushions
Perhaps clutched to a bosom
In hope or succor
That I could never provide
Whilst I was meat, just little better
Than carrion
That held breath for far too long,
Better now a souvenir
Frozen under plastic
In the Vatican gift shop.

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