Size / / /

"And so other births, which because they have either a superfluity
or a defect, or because they are very much deformed, are called
monstrosities, shall at the resurrection be restored to the normal
shape of man." — St. Augustine, The Enchiridion

Arise, says the voice more powerful

than thunder. Arise and be well.

Suddenly, deep within my catacomb

of glass, I wake from the slumber

of ages.

My lungs, no longer seared

by aqua vitae,

draw fresh quotients

of air.

My unorthodox limbs—now trimmed

back—are steady beneath,

and I take a few steps, stunned to realize

that he-who-once-shared

this queer body with me has disappeared.

No longer do I scuttle, and a jar-held

reflection confirms my

worst fear.

If grotesquely beautiful,

I am now half the monster I used

to be.

Outside, the world burns in a new light,

but we ex-terata are oddly sheltered

from the flames, like saints in some

cathedral of snow.

As we proceed en masse from

the Hall of Curiosities—we once

and former cyclopes, disomi,

and sirenomeloids—

we're afraid to look down

at our shadows,

but for the first times in our bleak lives

know hope.

And if, as a strident few proclaim,

Heaven turns out to be

just another gulag, with normalcy

for shackles?

These we dismember and eat

on the long trip home.

Robert Borski works for a consortium of elves repairing shoes in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. You can read more of his work in our archives.
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15 Apr 2024

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