Ash-cross over eyes don’t burn
the sinner like a wood cross on
a bloodsucker's white breast do,
branding shadow where the symbol lit.
Instead, appearing as x-marks-
the-spot, mind-renewal drags off of
front-lobe habit-action: church
on the first Wednesday of forty days
of nothin’. The finger dipped
into gray temperatureless salve
analogues Christ’s in dust the
woman waiting for death stands on.