A Trilogy of Red: Part 2 – Cardinal

March 6, 2017 1:04 pm

Sweet fruit laid bare on a rugged table, supple skinned and furred.
To juxtapose the craggy eggshell-tempera smeared around his stretched face.
From widows peak to concave dimple, soft and milky like a new-born babe.
Shrivelled and unwanted like crumpled paper, now a different shade of flesh.

A riverbank of tears floods the linens; a lifetime of idle discontent.
The fruit calls to him, a dull ache; caress this fine-skinned innocent.
The bitter and unripe, mouldering hearts, gloat from safe distance,
but watch through thin fingers. Will the Doomsday Clock knell at midnight?

Teeth; buttery, haunted and chipped, sink deep into the sweet fruit,
once ripe and juicy, now defiled by arthritic hands and a noxious bite.
One last righteous taste before wounds are anointed of their weeping sores;
pulped and cardinal, as altar boys cower with mulish disdain.

Pray forgiveness of your sins, your weak-willed fixations,
to a congregation in symmetry on the cusp of holy mass.
Does faith soothe your callouses from a lifetime of kneeling,
before bones crack into submission and fertilise the earth?

Will the curtain-call fall heavy on your naked wooden floor,
and Death come quietly rapping to claim this unsightly whore?
Some demons are allowed to walk free on this earth,
while others are condemned to walk perpetually cursed.

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