Two Hundred and Three Candles


Down by the river
mercy bells ring,
Bound before the fire
fog and flame restrain.
Wrists in chain,
The wire bleeds;
Hooks and fissures
Gaping holes burrow.
The willow tree inflorescence, the catkins bare –
Flaking bracts
like the jagged edges of my spine
tracing down my back.
Exposing backbone and naked skin,
Fingertips trail my distress.
In blinded abandonment
I offer my sacrilege,
At the altar stone
were two hundred and three candles stand
Flickering as one,
I sacrifice my heart
For yours to beat once more.



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