Who will see the divinity of slugs

and the virtue of carrion birds,

the white lining of pigs' stomachs?
Every story has at least one other

way of telling; and every failure
could be a martyr and a hero

in someone else's life. For such
is the way we're made: a wavery core

which makes it easy to be convinced
of the truth of a situation; and then

we wake riddled through and through
with many kinds of doubt. Which is why

I'm in awe of those saints depicted
in statuary and paintings: the ones

who stood their ground despite holding
the most unpopular opinion, and met

their end by having their heads swiftly
severed from their bodies with a sword

or axe. Especially marvelous is how these
cephalophores calmly picked up their heads

and cradled them in their arms, as if they'd
just picked up a nice pumpkin from the field

and wanted to take it home. There's Aphrodisius
who continued walking to the chapel while

his dumbfounded camel looked on. San
Ginés de la Jara hurled it into the Rhône

like a bowling ball. After his head fell
to the ground, witnesses said Nicasius

of Rome continued mouthing a psalm: "Revive
me, Lord, with your words." He'd just reached

the part that spoke of the soul's connection
to dust: if you looked close you might catch

an occasional gleam: fragments among
stones, perhaps from some chipped halo.


In response to Via Negativa: Slug test.

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