Torchbearer
Zach Sneddon

An Olympian of old
Bearing the torch
I jog on
Flagging muscles in my legs
Sustained by the runner's high
To ignite the brazier

A Sioux scout
Holding a coal
Fiercely glowing
Bedded in moss
Tucked in a buffalo horn
Carried by calloused feet

A devotee of Lord Subramaniam
Bearing the kavadi during Thaipusam*
Rods through the flesh on a full moon
My torso sags
With its weight
Lime juice scorching the piercings

Suspended on hooks
I creak agonizingly
From leather thongs
Around rafter poles
Supporting the roof
Of her lodge




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