Ritual – Jake Bailey

Every Sunday, I wash my sins
with ivory soap, apply facial cleanser
to unsee the morning, eyes burning
in phosphate cream, skin saturated
in mildewing brush, leaves lapping
the pitter-patter of rain
in a bucket. I’ll carry it up the hill
just to fill the pond with what I am,
to feed the fish a taste of broken
surfaces exposed to air. The fumes
percolate through scum and algae,
green plumes souring to the slow
dribble of pouring out. The spouts
on the house do a better job of baptizing
than a human hand, waters pumping
metaled veins, veins breathing themselves
onto flooded yard. Crystalline, it pools
into a river. I hop in my skiff and ride
out to sea, sails caught in becoming,
in shine. Perhaps a shoreless body
is cleaner than an anchor. Mine is lifted
for once. For once, I’d like to think
myself into singing, into a voice
that can be heard over falling rain.

Jake Bailey is a schiZotypal experientialist with work in The American Journal of Poetry, Tar River Poetry, and elsewhere. Jake received his MFA from Antioch University, and lives in Illinois with his wife and their three dogs. Twitter: (@SaintJakeowitz) More: saintjakeowitz.wordpress.com.

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