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Crypt Of The Carpucchin Monks. - Poem by JAE JAE

most people keep their bones on the inside,
twisted up tightly
like the decaying, corked wine
we let sit on the counter for months.

here they are eviscerated, not only
but intricately matched,
meticulously drawn over doorways and draped
into lifelike corners of features
that once held
a pulse;

i have seen nothing like it,
i think, stepping back into the dimly lit hallway
where the nun on duty asks us to turn off the flash
-except when the dark recesses of a story
so ugly, so uncomfortably close
dripped trembling from lips
as soft and fragile as that monk’s flesh
felt mere decades before,
rolled gently into the funneling air
between us,
and fell crashing so beautifully
onto its own reflections below.

who, i wonder, staring at the gaping mouths of skulls,
at the half-rotted faces of a secret, sacred history,
could transform such horror into something
so miraculously aesthetic,
so painfully pretty,
so true?

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, July 10, 2008

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