Cole Caswell, Burn Rate, Desert Portal (inkjet print), 20”x24”,  California, 2016

there is a cathedral
                                              inside me
overflowing with wine
                                               on sundays
& sunless days.
                                              someone plays along
the organs
                                              while the ladies’
choir echoes along.
                                               each exhale recedes to
this church becomes
                       christ’s own body.
last week i prayed to
                                               a doctor who touched me,
my temple,
                                               who said dear lord
as my knees descended
                                                to the floor. mid-fall,
the tap water i held in
                                              my mouth alchemized &
rusted to gold vinegar.
                                              i realize now:
the difference between
                                                hospitals & worship is
only how to be saved.
my cathedral accrues
                                              new stained
glass geometries.
                                              windows metastasize as
i wait in the hospital’s
                                               operation room.
four cumulus-lit sheets
                                                as transparent as
the image of god—
                                                his surgical mask
shattered, & rebuilt.


Jacqueline He