my cigarette-smoking badass waitress
the Bible I’ll defenestrate at 3 A.M.
Mary I went to Catholic school
while Josh played bagpipes at the Oval
Absorb tradition with sugary cocktails
I didn’t say a word in the play
as Pontius Pilate I wouldn’t
Watch men get crucified by wine
Watch women excise their seven demons
this party’s a tomb
of sacred skeletons
leave it to the wild dogs to feast
on the bottles of Jagermeister
we drink blue glasses
of Zombie in the corner
(originally published in Down in the Dirt, Winter 2020)
The legend, according to my sister, goes
you lock yourself in the bathroom, turn off
the lights, say Bloody Mary, spin three times,
then voila! She appears, bloodied,
hands on her face screaming
à la Edvard Munch painting.
I obviously don’t believe in this but
do you have the courage to try?
Catholic school vacuumed religion right
out of me, but I blanket my head in bed
when I can’t explain a house’s creaking.
Believe me– if I believed
that I believed, this wouldn’t be
so scary. I’d ask God to help me.
Say I try this now.
Would a vision make me a believer?
Me, an adult in a bathroom,
chanting a name into the dark.
When my eyes finally opened,
I’d pray to anything– the bathtub,
the toilet, the sink, the sliver of
light beneath the door.
(originally published in We Are a Website, Spring 2018)
In the bask of computer light my boss
says watch for leaks in the room.
I know now what to pray for. Thunder
burps and rain’s radio static steadies
on the roof– a beating applause
that, for once, recognizes all the good
work I’ve done.
(originally published in Unlikely Stories Mark VI, Fall 2017)