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Mother Mary Pocket Shrine

I found the mother mary pocket shrine wedged between a Hancock Shaker Villiage

guest pass and a dusty bar of soap shaped like a seashell.

Elaine’s holy bullet lay in the goose-shaped wicker basket on the mirrored ledge above

the bathroom sink.

I couldn’t help but look into it as I stood on the little black stool, reaching to wipe the

upper edge of the mirror.

I was cleaning her bathroom when I found my sacred adoration.

I was waiting for a breeze that would make me believe in heaven again,

In the pink tiled bathroom, with the mauve toilet from the fifties, the lace-curtained

window, the flower-trimmed wallpaper.

She was in a small metal case, aging golden, maybe the size of a quarter,

Small enough to fit in my blue gloved palm.

My seventeen-year-old self came back to me with sticky fingers

Itching to steal this small mother like she itched to steal lingerie from the salvation army.

In my fantasy, I make out like a bandit, shrine in my pocket, unnoticed for many months.

I found you at the train tracks wedged between a macroeconomics class and a work


Amongst the yellowing grass, the graffiti, the cigarette butts, the gravel, and the beer


I was waiting for a change that would make me believe in heaven again.

We stuck out like a sore thumb against the dying leaves,

I couldn’t help but offer you whatever I could give

Though I knew you’d leave me in the same place you found me.

So I put back the little mary, safe in her shell barrier.

Somewhere between the railroads and the doilies.

You are the worst thing I never did.


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