Transubstantiation

Transubstantiation

Cut from olive wood,
the straining
nails
of
hands
to
cross,
the body arched in holy
agony is ecstasy
and so, the other way around.

 

Once a year at Sacré Coeur,
the Body
offered to
His lovers’ eyes,
polished by their lips and fingers,
veins like vines
rising up
His
hero’s
feet,
Blood and Body
warm and ready,
candles,
wine and angels’ voices.
Priests
bestow
their kisses first,
then the nuns,
their wifely mouths
hungry for His
flesh and blood
along his side
on open wounds.

 

The usher gestures for the congregation,
shuffling
forward,
each in turn,
lips to foot
between the priest’s erasures with his holy hankie.

 

Third in line,
my
thirsty eyes
trace
the current running
foot
to ankle
calf
to thigh
to
loin cloth,
settling on
the Holy Grail,
waiting
for
my
profane
kiss,
a silent dare,

 

“…and if I did?”

 

The usher warns,
“Le pied! Le pied!”
wakes me from
betrayed
desire,
something made,
what some call God,
a god of wood.
The God in me
who loves the world,
the body of the son of man,
Divine.

 

–Bonny Finberg, Paris, 2009