Dear God,

forgive me my trespasses
but You led me into temptation
and I am still Your child

she wears violent violet lipstick and leaves aching aubergine prints on my throat
I wear You around my neck and her marks are like bruises against Your phosphorescent gold
and it is so glistening christening shimmering crystalline

I can feel myself dissolving like the Communion wafer on my tongue
but God, her fingers feel like Sunday mornings.

every touch is too loud, God
every bit of friction is deafening
every drop of delicious sweat on the back of her neck echoes like the organ
the clicks of our teeth are like rosary beads
she says oh god and I clap my hand over her mouth before You can hear

I will never be the Virgin Mary.

She tastes like nutmeg, God
like winter and broken promises
like Christmas
her skin is smoke and her hair is cat-ear velvet
her voice sounds like eggs frying in a pan
she is exquisite
but her name is like soap in my mouth and saying it makes it real
she is so gentle and You are so rough with me

we are dancing in a darkened room and all I know is her next to me around me in me
but Your gold is singeing singing a tiny cross into the triangle between my collarbones
she puts her lips there, God, and her kisses are like water.

I think wine runs in my veins, God
I think my blood is thicker and heavier and sickly alcoholic-sweet and
maybe that is an explanation of why I fail to be.

forgive me my trespasses
please don’t stop loving me
I will never stop loving You
I swear I have enough love for her too

I sit up all night on my knees
Hail Mary full of grace the lord is with thee Hail Mary blessed full of grace among women the lord blessed the fruit Hail Mary thy womb art thou full of grace Hail Mary Hail Mary
I am the ghost but not the Ghost I am the specter of swallowed words and kisses like sinking ships
I am the haunt of what could have been.

Please don’t send me to hell, God, because I am already burning
I am dripping candle wax like tears like leaves like nails on a cross and God,
don’t let the angels take me yet.
Wait for me.


Clea Woodbury, Age 15, Grade 10, Bard High School Early College II, Gold Key

Leave a Reply