Aphelion Issue 268, Volume 25
December 2021
 
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Sin Eater

by Jean Jones

A sin-eater is a person who consumes a ritual meal in order to spiritually take on the sins of a deceased person. The food was believed to absorb the sins of a recently dead person, thus absolving the soul of the person. Sin-eaters, as a consequence, carried the sins of all people whose sins they had eaten. Cultural anthropologists and folklorists classify sin-eating as a form of ritual. It is most commonly associated with Wales, English counties bordering Wales, and Welsh culture.

Take away my sins,
Drink them out of me,
all my sins into you,
purging me
through yourself,
your willingness,
your love for me,
love which purges me
protects all from my sins,
my hatred,
my anger at myself;
you purify me, cleanse me;

I will love you for that.


2021 Jean Jones

Jean Jones has an MFA in Creative Writing Poetry from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. He teaches English as a Second Language part-time at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, and is regularly published by Horror Zine and Aphelion Webzine.

Find more by Jean Jones in the Author Index.

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