Sunday Service

Sunday Service: Nick Ripatrazone poem

The mime has stigmata

and that is a problem.
He is not even Catholic
but considered converting.

The wounds first appeared
during a Thursday night show.
It was not Holy Thursday,

but it was wholly sold out.
Though no photos exist,
the memory is fixed:

his palms flat and up,
blood pinking white gloves.
Everyone knew it was not

part of the performance:
his routines include sandwich
making, window washing,

cello playing. No
violence. Afterward, he
burned the gloves, washed

his hands with such force
they were redder than blood.
Someone called the bishop.

He hadn’t worn gloves
in years, asked if he could
borrow the mime’s,

who said he’d burned all
his pairs, convinced cloth
had given him the rash.

They stood together
on the empty stage,
burning beneath the light,

concluding that pantomime
was an essential ingredient
for most professions.

Nick Ripatrazone’s most recent book is The Fine Delight: Postconciliar Catholic Literature (Cascade Books). He is also the author of two books of poetry, Oblations and This Is Not About Birds (Gold Wake Press), and two forthcoming novellas. This Darksome Burn (firthFORTH) and We Will Listen For You (CCM Press). He lives with his wife and twin daughters in New Jersey.

June 9th, 2013 / 11:03 am
Sunday Service

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