from Bloodcount II
by Luci Shaw, from A Widening Light, ed. Luci Shaw, 1984.
How well chosen wine was
to stain our souls with remembrance!
He knew how it burst, vivid,
from the flushed skins of grapes
grown for this sacramental crushing:
a shocking red, unforgettable as blood
a rich brew in the cup, a bitter,
burning in the throat, a warmth within,
chosen well to etch our lintels
with the paradoxes of
a high priest bound to his own altar,
death as a tool of love,
and blood as a bleach.