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Sacrament

        for David


Sometimes when I lift the chalice
to a brother's tongue,
and tip the gleaming cup so just enough
wine flows in, the sweet red sea parting
two lip-lands like an Exodus in reverse,
my hand might accidentally brush
the other's cheek, our skins kissing briefly;
and the moment is so raw,
so vulnerable between us, anything rough
or unclean suddenly melts, passes away —
as if we have no skin,
and we are naked and new all over again
and shame is a fruit left dangling on the vine.


Michelle Bitting
The Southeast Review
Winter 2005-2006


Copyright © 2006 by The Southeast Review, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.

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