The Sin Eater

A Sin Eater used to

lay out bread on a corpse

and eat the sin-soaked food

and save a soul.


I’m a modern-day Sin Eater.

But still, give me platesful of corpse cake

and take me to your graveside

to dine alone.


The grave is freshly-dug and empty;

so I wait.

Wine (and bread) take away the sting

of your dark crimes


Overhead the seagulls wail and circle

eyeing the cavernous hole and

the unspoiled bread

as we wait to eat secrets.


The sin is coal-dark;

sometimes, lately, murderous,

but always self-righteous

and always fed out in spoonsful


A modern sin-eater swells with

the sins of others, the sins; the “don’t tells,”

and they learn to hide

their own shrinking frame.

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