Ashamed

prisoner creep
to the quietest corner
of the chilled and chattered church.
Conceals the blood
that stains the snowy field
of lily white,

talons scratch a cherub face
the flush of rose in bloody cheeks
that drew the demon out.
He hides the beast within
the sodden seed spilled on bruised knees
the chiselled core of fire.

Eyes deny the truth,
screams no in high castrato.
The lies of youth, raped by black.
The lashing tongue of lust
and naked hunger of a holy ghost.

His face reflects the crucifix,
ribs, the cloth and chalice,
bells chime the consecration.
Stained window glow
of children bleeding on the mount.

The hold and tug of white quick nails
the hammer pounding.
The hungry stealing mouth
that feasts on fear and fascination.

He bows his head in impotent prayer,
begs rescue from a father
that whispers back in silent steel
there’s no one here my son

-Dave Kavanagh

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