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  The Radius of Salvation

 David Deborde

On the radius of salvation
between me and the horizon
are waiting rooms,
the areas in Dante’s eighth circle.
These are frightening, lush—
populated by women in scarlet sashes
baring indiscreet flesh above the knee
and old men with ginny voices,
without the capacity for shock or embarrassment,
making promises and proposing trades.
Sin carries the innovation of danger. 

I often find myself lingering there,
bathing senses, dulling the ethical
line, until my actions
can’t find rest on my conscience
and the divine unseen hand pulls me on, 
leaving those souls in flight

to eternal bartering.   





David Deborde has taught at West Virginia State University and is currently teaching English at Greenup County High School.  His writings have appeared or are forthcoming in The Roanoke Review, The Pacific Review, Et Cetera, Bathtub Gin, Harpur Palate, and The Encyclopedia of Ethnic American Literature.  He has a chapbook, godspeople, coming soon.




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