Emmet Martin Penney

My mother forbade breakfast on Sundays, on Fridays
stripped our diet of sweetness, fat, all flesh save yours
on my tongue where it melted like bitter, stubborn

manna. I am told you involve yourself in our affairs,
that you understand. You endured the lash knotted
with our anger. You slid a man’s hand into

your wound because he was afraid.
I know your taste. I confess, now, I crave not
your Sunday skin, but the warmth of your hand

guiding mine into your unwoven side.
Let me lick my fingers clean. I want my stupid
tongue to know. But the bells chime, call your body

into the bread. I’m afraid it was foolish to deliver
our world, that I am one of its many poisons
painted in your image, that I was jumped into this life

with an empty set of arms.


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