Stigmata

It could be anything, really, even just
bad arthritis or asthma
or worse; sharp and fine and bright,
enough to take you right out of your skin,
enough to put you right back into your skin—
after all, we all really wear
two skins, don’t we?—
an actual body of nerves, muscle, and bone,
but also
an incorporeal cocoon of
time? illusion? or simply God?
A comfort envelopes us, a surety;
so then, to feel completely skinned,
raw and shivering
drowned totally in flesh, when
pain screams so loudly that it sounds
like nothing at all, to feel that way…

(Also we all know of other kinds of wounds,
ones also worn in time itself,
or from the loss of illusion,
or from being forsaken by God;
we all learn there are no points for style
for being earnestly wrong, for being in love
or for being innocent.)

…so to feel that way,
I sometimes feel, means we all
smoulder with passion, with an individual
testament to a holy purpose—
each a doomed messiah
of afternoons, traffic jams,
dirty dishes, email,
and dying.