Chastise Me

by Ryan Nardi

Rome has not fallen.
An august eagle rises.
The Egyptian crystal coast
and Pharos crowned with flame
croon out from the beach
onto the whisper waving sea.

O, chastise me!
Scartch my face,
my eyes out of their wanton orbit.
Flog me down to penitent knees.
Chastise and chase me
away from the ancient wonder
reborn in heretical flesh.

I act not and pass not
brambles and thicket of thorns
slither up around my feet,
wooden sharp snakes from the sand
circle me,
goad me to throw myself down,
like Benedict in twisted heat,
spurn my vagrant body,
burn these wicked
well-meaning forms
from my thoughts.

I am a pious man.
My God, I am a pious man,
but piety does not detain
the peculiar glint
of antique sunlight
on handblown glass
from dancing through my gaze
from time to time.


Posted on 04/02/2008
Copyright © 2024 Ryan Nardi

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