Saint Sebastian

for Joe Saccio

Blood feeds on red marrow to surge and rip

through bone and be the fuel our bark sails on,

bodies of water and their memories

come to land heavy laden with awareness

of pure being only in this skin.

Arrows writhe too and twist plucked

from their quiver to pierce flesh and bone

as though coming home.

The heart strains and comes to a stop

chasing its beat while those left behind

witness catastrophe transfixed


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About the Author

Michael Rowe is a sociologist in the Yale Department of Psychiatry. His books include The Book of Jesse: A Story of Youth, Illness, and Medicine and Classics of Community Psychiatry.