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.