Emma Cleverly /  flickr

Emma Cleverly / flickr


poem | 5.25.17

Food Poisoning

by Kevin Casey



Flat on the bathroom floor at 2 a.m.--

eyes open, and the porcelain font

loomed above me like a ghastly chalice.

Eyes closed, I had visions of Saint Anthony

torn by demons in a tile-lined cave.


Thirty pieces of silver for that salad,

that unholy host, then wretched and retching--

betrayed by my whole body, my mind

seething in a sour martyrdom.


No recollection of a state before

this suffering, and no faith that grace

might save me, I ached to understand my sin,

to know what had left me so forsaken.


But once the daylight shivered across the sill,

there was only one revelation I took

from that floor: if the Bridegroom had come

for me that night, I would have gladly taken

his hand, and placed it against my fevered cheek.


Kevin Casey is the author of And Waking...(Bottom Dog Press, 2016), and American Lotus (Glass Lyre Press, 2018), winner of the 2017 Kithara Prize. His poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in Rust+MothValparaiso Poetry ReviewConnotation PressPretty Owl Poetry, and Ted Kooser's syndicated column 'American Life in Poetry.' For more, visit andwaking.com.


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