holy afflictions

symptoms of the illness: plastic spine showing
through translucent flesh, pulsating heartbeat
in my mouth, see it flut-flut-fluttering–my
grain is not your grain, it is mine and mine
alone (though i refuse to eat it in the same
way i refuse to eat wheat, grapes, insects,
and pillowcases.) i once saw a man stand up
from his wheelchair after a faith healing on
the television–gelatinous thoughts, my head
like a jello mold where mildew grows–
amputate, amputate they chant–two
scalpels in a cross, an aspergilium dipped
in my blood–the people all raise their hands
as it falls on them and cry out in ecstasy–


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