Noli Me Tangere
in a rural mass, a deaf woman
sitting on a pew answers the catechism
vowels expand rounding with air, but does not
sever from her throat. no matter how deep
the wind fists, her drums won’t sound.
how the tongue could only touch
as much as it has touched
her sins extra-terrestrial.
on a faded banig, a blind man makes love
with what feels like a sister after twelve
years of loving a wife.
by their bedside, a harem of black ants
removes the raised limbs
of a fly in the greatest act of falling
apart, he whispers
you’re beautiful in her ear and she
cannot hear, but believes.
she cannot hear the Father who touches her
forehead, drawing a black cross
then taking that sacrifice
to his lips as he kisses her
like a child. she professes her love yet he hears
amen and all is forgiven. her fist
clenching a rosary, ash of palms burying
in her neck while he, like a child
bit and bit. amen and amen.
she professed her love and he believes –
there are no creatures as forever as color
no animal as colorless than her
even when she made love
with another, there is a place
darker than this that the light
hasn’t reached. why stand blocking
taking in every stray
fahrenheit, when they can lay
untouched, side by side?