Monday, June 22, 2015

last rites ...

last rites ...

their bodies are tender
some crippled with broken limbs
in plaster casts
craned perversely
over their beds
some with sutures
etched in uneven lines
of unwanted tattoos
forever decorating their flesh
some with only
a worried and expectant look
like a dark spot on an x-ray
cancerous and deadly
some angry
some in unrelenting pain
some confused
some discarded
some destroyed
some ...
an alarm wails
and its incessant steady beep
startles me out of
a waking dream
as i turn to see
blurry and indistinct
almost hallucinatory figures
ghost-like in eerie white robes
some spectral reminder of
the coming of the Magi1
carrying gifts
of not gold
and myrrh
but cruel instruments of
torturous intent
long and shiny
metallic and sterile
to prod
and probe me
back to life
and in their frenzy
they deny me
the peace of death
they rip me
like some stillborn Lazarus
from the womb of
life everlasting
and i am torn
from silence into
a cacophony of indistinct tongues
more foreign to me than ever before
as if this room of swirling curtains
mimicked the antechambers of Babel
where i struggle to whisper
"Benedicat mihi pater"2
but no one returns
the blessing i need most
"quia peccavi"3
and before i can continue
i am gagged
with plastic tubes
and bound to a wheel
of perpetual fire
rousted from the soft
and forgiving arms
of a waiting angelic spirit
and forced to breathe in gasps
through foul blubbering lips
shocked with bolts
of lightning seething
from electric paddles
to enrage
this decrepit body
and infuse it with blood
their uneven thuds
compelling stagnant gushes
from the deepest depths
of a heart
already long past
and so i lie broken
helplessly tricked back to life
only to die again
in an unending
rhythm of
hope and failure
in such an obscenely
reverse ritual
of my last rites



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