Ray McManus

The Gospel As Acid Reflux

From the start a stain, a smudge—a tongue
on a pillow, fruit ripened under a dull lamp.
Notice: two streaks of blue, eyes that say
“look the other way,” a composition not yet
realized, forced to move before its time.
This mess will be a mistake by the hand of a god
too busy for detail, too busy to notice
anything beyond body sacks sewn together
one by one with tooth and vein because that
is all there is to change. Some may call it
a tragedy—torn fingers making way for bones
in strange places. The throat, our portal in,
is a bubble in the sun. And we will never know
what will spring forth from an empty canvas,
what makes the best story, or what refuses to stay down.