In that dark outlined light
of the transept I became 
a nervous acolyte 

breaking bread and snuffing 
out the altar candle, considering 
the stockpile of God in my 
When asked, I’d panic
and say it tasted like swollen 

pears, freshwater mussels
it seemed, began with the eyes
but always ended with the 
tongue I learned 

carrying the light away 
from the sacristy, not to
stumble on the wrong 
warfront of a name 
Faith became tangible 
when uttered

became familiar through 
unknown sins and unsinned 
knowns hurriedly pitched under 
the bed my whole childhood

I whispered the name to 
myself, feeling out 
its hollowness
then its
disappointed promise 
of vibration 


In this dark 
curdled in Narthex bedroom,
revulsion chipped into a cell
ear pressed to wet rock,
men share holy 
water and

to hear the throat’s humming 
it must be hushed  


there is an acidic loveliness 

to the phrase, “as a dog
returns to its own vomit,”
which recalls the mussel 

tongue its only 
leg and hobbling through 
trenches of Lake Michigan

twelfth-hour men filling
its throat blocking epiphany’s  
entrance, phonetics, rapture, but

Which heresy orders me to love? Out of love? And 

I have never once thought myself hated by God;
Could I bare to love 
other men 

who would I be were I not 
relapsed again 
and again 

under the Turin cloth of morning 
blushing many colors 
from its held 

Which heresy 
configures my tongue
as temples across the world turn 
to night; 

candle put out;
shadowed shape of Yahweh
readying for the next gasp 

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Zachary Dankert
Zachary Dankert is an aspiring creator from Indianapolis who tries to read serious literature but really just wants to read fantasy stories about mice. His published work can be found in The Fourth RiverBreakBread Magazine, and Tofu Ink Arts Press, among others. 

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