Act of Contrition

Jacques J. Rancourt

Two people who are honest 
for the first time speak

honestly to each other.
There are flocks of sheep 

herding dogs inside me. 
There are lovers I’ve pared 

with knives from apples. 
This season smutted 

into two others
until the body could have 

what the body shouldn’t have.
In a winter’s rain I became 

one part driven to fleas
and mange, teeth,

the other part left foaming over. 
The sky then pink 

as the underside of my tongue.
Pink as the skin beneath

the dead fox’s fur. I’ve firmly 
resolved to amend my life

but I keep breaking 
my teeth on these rocks.