Consanguinitas

CONSANGUINITAS

‘Hic est enim calyx sanguinis mei, novi et aeterni testameni: mysterium fidei: qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum. Haec quotiescumque feceritis, in mei memoriam facietis.’

Tell me again, mother, how after her death
both my brothers fainted during the Eucharist,
as if the blood vessels that united us
pressed to their foreheads with the hands of Christ.
Those lips are cold, are quiet that you kissed.

Read this in memory of her, my intimate
and distant sister. A christened chalice
of altered blood confounds us in our veins.
Damn anyone who claims such primal loss
in any sense consistent with God’s justice.

I know how one converts into another,
how the transubstantial lies in broken bread,
how the wound thrives on the nail for which it bled,
how love communes between the living and the dead.
CONSANGUINITAS: write the word in blood.