when I was eight, a priest came and flicked holy water
into the four corners of this wooden house
that kept my parents, two sons, a daughter,
and a darkening forest in its mouth.
The priest muttered in Latin, crossed us all
with odorous oils, his thumb pausing on
on the bottom of each cross, on the small
space of our foreheads where Christ was hung from.
but the spirits came every night until
my father opened the fowl’s throat like a bible,
the glint of metal washed away in blood,
a beating of black, white and red feather
his hands, the knife, performed their own recital
to feed with one hand, with the other, kill.
Exorcism / Freeport
15 May 2017