Walking up the High Street grade I inhale my running sweat the way a saint inhales the kiss of his savior: every pore open to the mystic balm. No transubstantiation here, only the mown, flower-bordered yards, the wooden houses preening in their layers of paint, the dogs crestfallen behind low fences. How the Grail legend might revive in such an unheroic landscape is something to ask Ms. Weston. But last night I dreamt again of prowling the Perilous Chapel, slipping the cloth from the dead knight’s face, feeling the Black Hand reach for me, invisibly. The gold candlesticks glowed with intelligence neither of mineral nor metaphor. Something more Freudian but free of the sexual gesture, the innuendo preceding speech. No wonder in this grim heat I think of saints writhing in ecstasy, genitals shrunken as if soaked in a cold bath, faces upturned like maple leaves a moment before a storm. The hills wrestle in the heat haze like nests of puppies. The sweat toughens mask-like on my face, endorsing sacred narratives weary of plot.
William Doreski‘s work has appeared in various e and print journals and in several collections, most recently The Suburbs of Atlantis (AA Press, 2013). He thanks The Cows for their kind attention.