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La Dolorosa

ISSUE:  Winter 1998
Alone in your glass box
smeared with kisses

a handful of knives
to the heart
and tears
turn to diamonds on the face.

The grief so hard, you’d break
your teeth on its jewel.

My own tears collapse
beneath their own weight,
their salt
falls into the wounds
I’m here to touch-up: your son’s
bloodless gouges
where the injury’s kissed clean.

Our Lady of Sorrows,
where are the women
who heal your son
again and again
with their lips?

Blood’s the red curtain
Christ pulls
between himself and their flesh. A color
carried away on each mouth.

Sorrowful Mother,
you press your palms against glass
and they’re ivory, ivory,

an animal murdered
only to give you
such delicate, empty hands.


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