Table Talk

Table Talk

Table Talk 150 150 Rosanne Osborne

The bread was porous  

like a sponge. 
It sucked the wine 
from the chalice 
held out in compassion 
taken in hate. 
Kneeling like a stick figure 
contorted by childish 
crayon tracks on rough paper, 
his plastic contrition 
was as savage as primitive 
drawings on a cave wall. 
Chewing the morsels of the body 
was sheer cannibalism, 
a rejection of life, the denial 
of brotherhood. It signaled 
the depths of his own heresy,  
his utter alienation. 
Swallowing was like force-feeding 
a comatose patient, the tube 
scratching the larynx as it descended 
through a recalcitrant trachea, 
the breath of the body of Christ unable 
to penetrate bronchial blockage. 
The darkness was the forced burial 
of a cataclysmic mudslide, 
rapid, unforeseen, devastating. 
Prayers, murmuring distant 
pleas, seemed both his and not his, 
grace, a single heartbeat.

Rosanne Osborne

An English professor, Methodist pastor, clarinetist, and poet, Rosanne Osborne holds the Ph.D. in English from the University of Alabama, the MFA from Spalding University, and the M.R.E. and MDiv from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. She grew up in Missouri but has lived most of her adult life in Louisiana. Her work has appeared in Tar River Poetry, Alabama Review, Christian Century, Ruminate, Thema, Penwood Review, and The Village Pariah.

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