Kissing the Wound

For Lent, the rule was no sweets, and fish
on Fridays; less music on the radio, less TV,
less rowdiness and laughing in general (but one
could giggle behind one’s hands if necessary).
And on Holy Thursday we went to church to see
a row of unshod men seated before the altar,
waiting for the priest to wash and dry and oil
their feet: the plumber, the carpenter, the banker,
the fire chief, the kanto boy, the grandfather.
On Good Friday flagellants paraded down
the streets, vermillion stripes growing across
their backs, rude thorns circling their brows.
And in the evening we visited six or seven
churches, tiers of votive candles keeping vigil.
In the middle of the aisle, statue of the body
crucified, laid prone on a cloth of blood-red
velvet. After all these years, this is what I
remember most: the cold, pale arch of the foot,
the painted-on wound on painted flesh which,
bending, we were meant so reverently to kiss.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.

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