My youthful myths were invented
at my mother’s knee and St. Catherine’s,
a conceived, delivered temple for ghosts
who took of the bread in their ceremony
of the dead and conformed to ceramic
monuments with a list of saints that read
Linus, Cletus, Clement, and Sixtus.
My moment in the box was a hot palpitation
long before I became a sinner, so I was
purgatoried and limboed out long before
I met a prophet of mercy and tranquility.
Mea Culpa, mea culpa.
In my thirties came a savior of souls,
a lover of all bits that shined in me —
a man who was of this earth and yet
somewhere else where normalcy
knew no limits of understanding.
He became my source of light,
understanding, and forgiveness,
and I never looked back for ghosts
that haunted my dreams with images
of fire, indulgences, and eternal suffering.
His was the altar where I was cleansed
of my past and present and future sins.
Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.