The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Literature from Mexico City

Removed from Issue 25 to be published in Ambit

For The Boy In The Choir With Tourette’s


He slaps his face as others take communion,

A joyful disunion lurking in a devil’s abandon

That plays jerky havoc with his composure;

A boy of maybe ten or eleven, corpulent


With brown curls and a wide open stare,

Struck into the choir like a daring nail, who

Takes the music into him and jabs it out

Every third bar by an angelic shout;


I feel comforted he is up there, exposed

For all to ignore or mock.  In a sea of doubt

And conceit and sin, his two-faced

Demon that winks about his eyes and mouth


Every so often with a punch to the head

Is all the compulsion I need to recognise

For all the love of Jesus a rich seam of lies

Resides within the idea of heavenly skin


Or a bag of cats roils just beneath us all

And in this sweet off-kilter boy is beautiful:

His stop-go body a rock to save stiller ones,

Says every twitching thing that crawls can sing.