I wanted to become a Catholic, especially when I was in Spain,
where all girls are named Mary and all boys Jose.
I wanted to say the rosary as many times and with as many
Hail Marys as an all knowing Father would give. On my
knees on the floor so it hurt.
And the Catholics have the best churches. There are small
whitewashed ones in Oxaca, but so many ornate ones in Spain
and Italy where there is always some saint in a glass box
his clothes still perfect but his face sunken and covered
in a burnt orange-brown leather.
But I was raised Methodist: neighborhood churches,
potlucks, pulpits slowly filling with warranted women,
so I hedge my bets. In Vatican City I bought a rosary,
pure white play pearls with gold links and left it
overnight to be blessed by the Pope.
Karen Vande Bossche is a poet and short story writer who teaches middle school to students asking questions such as "Aren't you too old for a tattoo?" Some of her more recent work can be found in Damfino and Damselfly and is forthcoming in Sediment (October 2015) and Straight Forward Poetry (Winter 2015).
male-pattern badness did you see me me take a picture of me walk on the beach to take
picture walking on the beach could reach 100 likes like male-pattern badness bring me the password
her church was music
and her gods dead rock stars
who she joined on an eternal tour
around the furthest reaches
of space and time,
I lied to my fourth therapist,
telling her all of my bogus
achievements while she jotted
them down on a pad in her lap,
hoping that she couldn't smell
the Schnapps on my breath
4x4ever everything I expected 2.5 bedroom gun rack smokestack tread for dread of poor handling known known unknowable star-spangled suspension of disbelief
I have gone astray,
in an esoteric phrase,
lying to the government
about a loaded gun
between my legs.
The gift of childhood is imagination. In Sarah Frances Moran's poem, "Still Alive and Well" love and forgiveness are found in a friendship that withstand the challenges of life.
"Inside my body rests this adventurer.
I know it was birthed by you. The way fresh air
fills your lungs and how a campfire and a cold beer
can be like heaven.
Riding bikes down bayou banks
and tiptoe walking across railroad bridges.
We are wanderers. Romantic gypsies just a little