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Jan 2016
This is ancient land, this is
       hallowed ground, this is
21 kilometers worth of tunnels.  

Blood stops flowing after death
                                                          becaus­e the heart is no longer beating;
no longer forcing blood to gush through veins and arteries and vessels.  
It gets lazy, becomes stagnant.  
Slowly slides down to the
                                               lowest point on the body; creates a
                                          reddish purple discoloration on the skin
similar to a bruise, but not quite the same thing.  

          This is what I imagine the fifth level of the catacombs to look like:
                                           a reddish purple discoloration
                                          spread across my mother’s back.  

This is what I see when I close my eyes and rub them a bit too hard for a bit too long.  This is what I see when I look into a hole in the stone walls that is big enough to fit an infant.  This is what I see in the reflection of the Trevi Fountain.  This is what I see when I try to remember the shape of my mother’s sleeping body as it curled in on itself on top of a flat hospital mattress.  

The color of death is not black, is not white.  The
color of death is the color of blood: the way it looks
through the skin after having
                                                       hours and
                                                                ­            days and
                                 weeks to
slowly slink down into the
lowest bend of the body.  

This is the reddish umbra of the earth that the
                                                                ­                     eclipsed moon hides behind.  
This is my body given for you.  
Take and eat.  
                                                  Do this is the remembrance of
                                                                ­                                                                 me.
part of my Rome chapbook.
Taylor St Onge
Written by
Taylor St Onge  F/Milwaukee
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