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Scratching Jesus
by Rachelle Cruz


It began with an innocent nick
from the crown of thorns.
Then our fingers brimmed
with blue paint and
his invisible left eye
lay broken in my hand. 
In my parents' bedroom,
the statue stood between
two mirrors over
the false wooden drawers,
his hands heavy with air.
Every day, after school,
a scratch from
his callused feet, a comb
of fingers over the  grooves
of his hair. 
My sister and I
couldn't explain
the rainbows of
archeological dust
on our cheeks.
Even after our mother spanked us,
the Slipper or the Belt?
we swiped tiny curls
from the sacred heart, burning.
We wanted to dig for the fire
that made the heart beat,
our hands open to the beauty
of ruin.

© Rachelle Cruz


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Scratching Jesus
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