The Martyrs’ Wounds


by Walt Garlington (December 2022)

Christ on the Cross
, El Greco, 16th C


How beautiful are the martyrs’ wounds
On the bodies of those who bore them!
Yours are indeed full of glory
Young Anastasia the Roman—
Breasts cut off; fingernails pulled out;
Teeth broken; tongue torn; beheaded by a sword.

In Heaven now, your scars are worn
As precious ornaments, honoring Christ,
The Archetypal Martyr
And the Victor over death,
Who bestows brilliant crowns
And rest from tribulations
Upon you and all your fellow martyrs.

After centuries of calm, these tortures
Are returning to the West, directed
By the demons to the same fiendish ends—
The destruction of man and spite towards God –
But in service of different deities—
Instead of Jupiter, Bacchus, Mercury,
The wounds are given for the sake
Of a belief in a wandering gender.

But there will be no rejoicing
Over the mutilations of the bodies
Of these unsexed people in the afterlife,
No crowns for them to wear. Instead,
The demons will burrow in and out of them,
Shrieking with delight as the agony
They have caused, and are causing,
Shows upon their straitened faces
And tight-strung muscles, and in their screaming voices—

Martyred not for freedom and autonomy
But to tickle Satan and his vanity.


Table of Contents


Walt Garlington was born and raised in that part of Dixieland called Louisiana. A chemical engineer by training, he has spent the last several years writing full-time. He has written essays and poems for The Hayride, New English Review, The Tenth Amendment Center, The Abbeville Institute, Reckonin’, Katehon, Geopolitica, and USA Really. He writes regularly at his own web site, Confiteri: A Southern Perspective.

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast

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