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Alison Stone




Forgive me Father,

I still desire my desires.


Once, I vowed to color myself between your lines.

I buttoned collars, folded my hands.

I didn't cut the heads off pansies in the window box.

But I grew tired of God,

His cold perfection,

the savior bleeding prettily on my wall.

Something vital pressed from deep inside.


As I walked across the meadow,

he appeared to me—long hair, leather jacket and a touch

so soft across my collarbone I knew he had to be

an angel. I had never felt such flame.

I am beyond pure.

Our fire remains in my body.


Training is no match for life.

While the telephone shrieks and dishes grow in the sink,

I eat strawberries. My feet

pull themselves from proper shoes.

Strange sounds emit from my lips.


When guilt strikes, I try counting beads, but blossoms

on the altar tumble wantonly before my eyes.

I tongue the wafer, swallow wine. The crucifix

becomes two bodies, locked.

I try kneeling but my bowed head

reaches upward like a tree.

I am left with hunger, tangled hair, your promises,

empty as heaven.