Chloe Barreau, Fragmented, 2017 (Artist Website)
Acrylic on acrylic
37 x 37”

Like all man-made things, the night becomes holy
when it is worshipped long enough. Summer days,
I draw a scene and bow down to it: the sky is given
a new darkness to believe in and borrows a moon
so still it is almost a prophecy. I draw us: waterbodies
laying on sand, constellations of sweatdrops resting
on our skin. Summer nights, I try to keep my eyelids
from evaporating into sleep. Guilt circles the room
like a wolf. Clouds rush from a different season
to rain a loud Confess into the air. There, the stars
wait for me to pray to shut their sleepy eyes.

So I pray the only way I know how: with my knees
on the ground, whispering my name, calling my body
my sin. I see the minute hand moving like a tiny god
swinging on the petals of a marigold. I see a heaven
-shaped hole for boys like me: used to surrendering,
used to saying please. It is deep enough to take me
whole, scars pilling up as I fall. At its pit, I find,
exiled from light, an altar, from the Latin altare 
meaning burnt offerings, built out of ocean water
and salt. Here I give everything I own: two eyes,
a rosary, its neck. Here I ask for only mercy in return.

Christos Kalli