Ash Wednesday

by Ryan Keating

His forehead touches mine
Bowing low to meet me
Where I have been stained.

I feel the warmth of his body
And his breath on my face
As he takes up my cross
Of ashes.

Ryan Keating is a pastor, winemaker, and coffee roaster on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. His work can be found in publications such as Saint Katherine Review (forthcoming), Ekstasis Magazine, Christian Century, and Miras Dergi, where he is a regular contributor in English and Turkish.

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