His soldiers, with their blistering certainty marching forward with their
cleansed bodies, upright breasts, asses and protruding masculinities,
look down and see before them a naked and lifeless child on the floor.
God, they imagined, placed the infant there as sign,
glint of light shining down on the divine churches golden base.
A few cradled the dead child while others built a pyre at the foot of their Christ.
They laid the eager body upon its cradle and declared, “We are yours!”
and lit the brittle timber.
Falling to their knees and repeating their mantra they watched their sacrifice melt.
First the soft hair of the child curled up with the flames, then sparked by the heat
it ruptured into ash.
Then came the tender flesh covering the ears which melted like wax,
dripping down into the flame it sizzled and popped
and drooped to its loss.
Then the skin on the palms of the hands and the heels of the feet oozed down onto the embers and the babies tender bottom and back and shoulders began to sag into the fire as the eyes melted into the skull, feeding the fire into the brain, and the soldiers of Christ still moaned and prattled their pledge.
Soon the liquefied skin had formed a cocoon around all that remained-
the lungs, heart, liver, kidneys, gallbladder, pancreas, and brain-
the stomach, spleen, colon, small intestines, bladder and bone.
A rancid smell filled the church as did the warrior’s blabber and moan
floating out of the fire of God’s blessing.
As the noise of sacrifice grew louder still, the child’s body grew white-hot and began to quake! The revelers saw this and became so frightened that they ran like a herd of cattle from the church.
When they were all gone, and the church was silent of fear, the baby suddenly burst open with the breath of peace upon it…
© 2008 mrp/thepoetryman