Child Trapped in a Barn Crypt

by Joseph Fasano

Joseph Fasano

First the breathless flight              
            from the village, the whip's

small script on your tongue. Then stench, 
            then rest, then silence. You'd not thought
such spectacle persisted: thick wool             
            shifting in darkness, each beast

to its own monk's cell. It was winter, then 
            winter, then winter. Remember the door 

cast open, owl-song
            swirling above you, brittle  

as an orphan's dominion?               
            How you crouched in a piss-laden      
cellar, while the blade's hymn 
            whispered for more? Moon-
stone, strong-
            box, psalter: You will wait here

alone, into hunger, where the floor's 
            good granite 
surrendered, in the crook 
            of your cold-stone 

hollow, in the ghosts
            of the arms of the poor: 

the lamb's blood thick  
            on your jaw now, where the wind's 

wild hand 
            still lays it, saying taste

and see, and surrender,  
            as though filth were the brilliance's door.

Last updated November 24, 2022