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Cilice

by Dana Levin


             Strap the spiked belt round your trembling thigh,
you’re in the grip of flesh—

             Each spike digs for its nip.

             Each spike christens its
silver throne—

             in a din of pain against the cock’s
call, the body’s
             barnyard

             of want—

                                         —

             But to be released by the iron thorn.

             To feel His lamp, His
lion’s clamp—

             so that His black breath comes and
clouds the eye, and you are lifted
             upon His Word—

             Bad dog, the body is.

             You must make it eat the light.

 

Dana Levin’s first book is In the Surgical Theatre. Her second, Wedding Day, is due out from Copper Canyon Press in Spring '05. She is the recipient of numerous awards, most recently a fellowship from the Rona Jaffe Foundation.


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