Introductory Rites

The first of a series of fourteen sonnets on the Catholic Mass

The Lord be with you—And with your spirit.
On God, my whale, for sinful minnows fishing,
Through my most grievous wail, winnowed faults strip
Away the rust, reeling poetry’s sheen.


To celebrate the sacred mysteries
I nail the liturgy’s words on my tongue.
Reclaim the pain of these metaphors
To birth in blood: Kyrie, eleison.

Too full of grace, she breaks Man’s No
With Yes. The Virgin crushes Eve’s origin:
All sin erased. Fruit poisoned, now blessed, to
Replant seed in sacred ground for all kin.

You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on earth.
You take away the sins of the world, receive our rebirth.

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