You could step on the smiley yellow mat at the mouth of Seven Swan’s corner store and get swallowed into the fluorescent belly behold a pack of busy bargain finders waiting for a sign, a sale, a lick at the lottery. Just a few licks, and a display case of lollipops in seven times seventy flavors. Choices. You could buy a bar of lavender or sandalwood or sweet rose beeswax soap for a dollar or so, crack the cardboard wrapping and let the flakes fall out let the perfumed scent lift you praise you heavenly hosts hurry home and let the pumice purify your pores it has been too long you are dirt-caked and hideous and hidden from yourself. Proof of the immortality of the soul: you let it go without the ablution of absolution for so long if you let your skin and bones get stained for that time-line your body would die of disease but your soul, muddied as it is strained as it is still breathes for the sake of His sorrowful passion have mercy.
In the bathroom in the dark room of the corner parish soap and cloth. Scarlet rag and pink bar, scrubbing and slapping and displacing the dirt the bloody hurt. Fingers then feeling the clean skin believing the ablution the absolution is more than a sleight of hand raised over a body of bones that is part of His body this is theology bodily. This immortal day this agnus dei qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.