stickfigure jesus

By Terry Finley

looking through the glass door to my soul
at the stick-figure relief hung like Christ
from the opposite wall
slit-wristed by God himself
suicide by paterfamilias
deicide by deity identification
murder by religion whatever your reasonable rationalization
the door’s turnkeyed to visible not tactile access
and there’s nothing else there but all the hopes
that have ever been hoped, hopes tactile, not visible
my side of the door is covered in desperation’s breath
vaporized in saline dreams behind closed eyes crying
mercy
mercy
handfuls of sticky shit ooze to the floor
across the teeth gnashers’ spittle streaks
whose fangs have long since been self-recursively eaten
in a far less tame but no less truthful self-immolation
than death by omnipotence
there are Nightshade petals too, stuck to the glass
and holy water splatter
handprints and ass prints and cock prints
a stubble-chinned man with breath like my father’s
fucks a bone-skinned boy whose raw throat used to be mine
against the glass right now
rosary beads around the boy’s neck swing back and forth
to the rhythm of his penetration
like a palm tree in the Sirocco winds
bending to avoid breaking
breaking anyway
and a man in a clerical collar chained to
the only patch of Mediterranean seas
that aren’t clear to the seabed
exorcises them with the name of the patri and the fili and the spiritu sancti
the priest vomits on the glass and a middle-aged man in a fedora
with eyes green like mine used to be
licks the sick clean
hoping it’s all a simulacrum
a copy of that which no longer exists
no longer has meaning