Holy Ghost

Some nights I’m young again;         a child choking on the body of Christ.        I read

              this is common, that most of us weep behind holy doors      because we cannot breathe.

I expect more from a room so full of sound and archaic sadness.                   I expect a cure.

              But blood spills in unpredictable patters          no matter the orifice.

It’s not the thorny crown that transfixes me most                       nor the loincloth

              suggestively drooping below a wooden navel                                           but the woman

composed purely out of brushed-blue glass;          how the light intensifies her figure,

              how her mouth                          appears to hide something—             a secret

to dethrone all secrets.              Some nights                  I string my heart from the ceiling

              along with the others                             and hum their haunted whale psalms,           high

beneath an ocean of muscle.



Kristen Rouisse holds an MFA from the University of South Florida in poetry. Her work has appeared in RHINO Poetry, Glass Poetry Press, Hobart, Yes Poetry, and Superstition Review, among others. She teaches writing online at USF and is currently working on her first book.

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