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Disregard, if it distresses you, the churn

of bodies, slap of flesh

on tile. Ignore the bend

of knee, the twist of hip. Swaddle

your senses in believers’ fire:

you are the vessel


that will bear the vessel

of the vessel that will churn

out the vessel of our Lord. The fire

that shimmies inside your flesh

is merely the desire to swaddle

up our future vessel and bend


your arms around her. Around every bend

you’ll imagine fresh threats to your vessel,

causing you to pull her swaddle

tighter—a danger in itself. Your mind will churn

with each disaster that could befall her flesh,

every drop her drowning, every spark the fire


that could burn her alive. But fire

is necessary. If that distresses you, try to bend

your mind toward joy. Find it in the flesh

that led you here upon your path as vessel.

Surely you find comfort in the churn

of your fellows, the bodies that swaddle

you whole. Won’t you swaddle

them in turn with your limbs, return the fire

that burns in them for you, the churn

of hips, fingertips grazing the bend

of your knee, slipping from thigh to vessel,

gripping anointed flesh?

Not everyone is blessed with holy flesh.

Precious few have been chosen to swaddle

the vessel of the future vessel’s vessel

of our Lord. Don’t you want to feel the fire

of fellowship inside you, every bend

of your body enveloped in this glorious churn?


Where are you going, vessel? Who granted you your own flesh?

How dare you reject the churn of prophesy, a Lord to swaddle?

Who let you glimpse the fire of your soul, impossible to bend?