Self Portrait as Headless John the Baptist Hitchhiking
God makes more sense this way.
When blood flows from the neck, the body
looks like an uncorked bottle
but maybe this leaves more room for salvation.
The less of me, the less of sin. You said I was temptation
the way my eyes looked pure as pine
in a window of white, but still called me a saint
after I changed your flat tire. You’re right—
Holiness is in the hands even if it’s always the head
that gets haloed.
I said I wanted to worship something, even if it’s just the black
beetles in your yard crawling around hurriedly
like pieces of a star trying to reassemble itself.
In your apartment we danced like we knew each other.
You rubbed your hands against my neck and shoulder
as if you were shaping me out of a blackberry tree.
I said the dogmouth dark carried me here and laid me
in your bed. I said lamb
and felt myself become gospel in your hands.
C.T. Salazar is the editor-in-chief of Dirty Paws Poetry Review, and the 2017 AWP Intro Journals poetry winner. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Tampa Review, The Harpoon Review, FLARE: the Flagler Review, and The Broke Bohemian. He's an MFA candidate and children's librarian.