Did anyone hug Oedipus after he popped out his own eyes?
Was Antigone haunted by the sight of her father’s
black sockets? My childhood nights were recurring visions
of Jesus’ punctured side, soldiers breaking his legs with a turn …
When not lost in this nightmare, old men’s chests, like sockets
over-stuffed with porcupine quills appeared, the elixir
of alcohol and peppermint emanating from my grandfather’s breath
locked my somnolent knees and elbows like a tent frame.

Thistled lips planted needy kisses on crown, on forehead,
each apple cheek gently pierced.You are an angel,don’t
let anyone
touch you! Oh I need your sweetness. Come
here my little one.
Too young, I turned silver, barbed,

quivering between dread and hunger. I could not make
the choice to stay untouched and starve. The only option
left was how to die. Quill by quill I denuded myself
and with each turn of the pliers renounced ancient words,
“Noli me tangere!” Jesus had whispered to Mary at his grave.
When he said, “Don’t touch me!” maybe he had seen

the concave arc in his side as the blind socket of betrayal
re-opened. To die again. It doesn’t matter I wept
in my married lover’s arms. Touch me.

From Bone Dream