When You Confuse His Name with Absolution

Tell me the last time you felt
holy
without his hands on you.

Open your heart like a prayer book
and pull out the rosary beads
one by one;
spill them down the aisle of the church,
make a note of every one that bears his name.

Remember the way your mother
used to remind you
“your body is a temple”
Remember there was no addendum;
no “only when he’s inside of you”.

There is a cross of ash
imbedded in the grey matter of your brain;
it rises to the surface every time
you pray to see him again.

Fat Tuesday laments in shame,
reminds you
it’s a symbol that you have purged yourself of all unclean things.
Instead, light a candle for him.

Tell me the last time you said
“I love you”
without simultaneously asking for forgiveness.

Tell me the last time you felt
holy
without his hands on you.

Devotion

Prodigal Daughter
falls into the company of fools:
rejects family,
rejects boy,
rejects home.
Knows touch,
ends up alone,
leaves den
smudged.

Boy is not brother.
It is not his job
to keep her from wrong lovers.
He warns her once
with a smile and a wink
and then kisses the backs of her hands with a promise
that he’ll pick up the pieces
of her heart when it breaks.

Prodigal Daughter
returns home
clean cut
to family,
to boy she links fingers with,
to boy who stays,
to boy who is home.

Boy who is not brother,
but through him
love is shown.

Sunny Sidle Up

Husband comes up to me
Tuesday afternoon,
briefcase dropping on the tile,
arms locked around my waist from behind.
Kisses nape of my neck,
beard brushes against the top of my spine,
flowers budding between vertebrae,
hitch in breathing,
sizzling of bacon,
flash in pan.
Low chuckle rumbling like
approaching train,
railroad track back.
Fixes fingers into ridges of my hip bones,
makes me rise on tiptoe,
God, I want to make a pit stop—
timer goes off.
There’s a growl caught in your throat,
somehow I choke out, “Breakfast”
and you say, “No”
with your leg pressed between two of mine,
fumbling fingers turning off the stove.
Lit up like LA strip,
I try “dinner”
but the way it spills off my tongue
coincides with my aprong falling to the floor.
I always thought you liked frills,
as you unzip the back of my dress with stinging fingers
that leave marks on my flesh,
You’re in a hurry today,
pull my frame into your body,
slip my strap off your shoulder,
Oh, wait. Those frills.
Bite into the flesh underneath,
and I can’t breathe,
I can’t breathe,
I can’t breathe,
so you spin us around,
and I’m somehow on the counter,
and my dress is falling down my waist,
as your hands make their way into my hair
and I kick myself free of all fabric
that stops my legs from wrapping around you
as lips crush against lips,
like my body molding to yours,
sticker and sweat,
falling into bed,
saying you love how the light hits me,
saying I never looked so pretty,
saying

“Honey,
you know you’re only dreaming, right?
‘cause God knows
you can’t cook to save your life.”

3 Strikes; I’m Out of Luck

It is the third
for two more minutes
and it is no longer lucky.

It is the way I asked you to be mine
over telephone lines
and now I don’t even have your number.

It is the way you kissed me in a drizzle,
made me feel some kind of special,
and pushed your heart too hard, too fast
to where you couldn’t breathe with me beside you.

It is the way I didn’t ask you on a date,
but I sat shaking in my seat, watching you,
watching me, thinking,
maybe,
knowing nothing could come of it anyway,
sober or sex free.

It is the month you drove
back and forth down a random street,
waiting for me like a beacon,
like a phantom,
staring at each other like “action”
Until the next day when I woke up and thought
“Did that really happen?”

It is the fourth,
and three minutes.
It has always been my favorite number,
but it has never been lucky
for me.

Left. 

Gabrielle Renee:

Because she is flawless.

Originally posted on Kathryn L Christopher:

I’m thinking it shouldn’t feel like this.
Everything I write about you is a prayer.
Every stanza begins with surrender.
By the end I am always weeping;
I am always clutching for you on the page.
The room is a mess.
There are half written poems scattered across the bed as if they could
absorb the memory you left there.
I keep losing time.
I write about your skin
I wake up at the edge of the bed ashamed.
It shouldn’t feel like this.
Lonely even before the thought of you comes. Preset loneliness.
As I wake. Last thing at night.
In my dreams.
In my skin.
I feel now as though my body is a prison. And a burial ground.
Holding all of the rot and yearning inside.
Trying to keep me from reaching for what has gone.

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Messed Up Fantasies

This is
knowing that I can’t make you into
the man I want you to be,
knowing I can’t be the girl you created
in all your daydreams.

This is bleakly believing
our mouths might meet in reality.
This is accepting actuality
we’re each other’s messed up fantasies.

This is me begging:
“Break me.”
This is you wondering.
“How does she have the power to put me on my knees?”

This is me texting you
talking about if other’s died by their own volition
why are we the ones left feeling guilty?

This is alchemated misery
This is guessing game where,
if you are a cat, I am a mouse,
and I want you to catch me.

This is tethered trust,
constantly reminding myself,
I’m good enough,
not another backseat love.
But still picturing you as the one
with arms open,
ready and willing to hold me.

This is want of gentle kisses
and fingers playing with hair.
You texting me.

This is
fragile security.