Summer 1984 • Vol. VI No. 3 Voices in American PoetryJuly 1, 1984 |

“All at Once His Leprosy Passed”

Luke: 5 I go in satin, contagion touched away, My sores, the stink, long gone, my beggar's cup, That target for spit, revered, made holy they say Who'd have it gilded, dents and all, who'd sup Pig slop from it if offered, down to the dregs. I'm followed as prophets, feted, envy of rabbis, New-skinned as a snake, my arms, torso, legs, Supple and young, smooth as lilies, my eyes So entered, they say, by Radiance, all others seem dim. I've suffered the dark ones, though, who say I'm vain As Satan, will rot forever, pledged to him; Scabbed all over, I'll rend, ooze thickness like phlegm. Myth-riddled, they'd stone with error. I disdain. Hell's here, I say, who rotted. To hell with them.

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