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Don't Touch
Gizelle Fletcher

In an empty schoolyard church  
a stained-glass Mary glowed
like Bernini’s St. Theresa
and illuminated the lace-fringed white sheets
covering the communion table. 
I lifted the overlay to examine the gold in the plates beneath, 
no one there to say, Don’t touch. 

Once, when a flock of shirtless boys in cut-off jeans
climbed over the wall into school
at dusk, armed with empty bottles, one stopped
to stare at me lace my fingers through my friend’s,
then growled, careful, brimstone and fire thing that
before walking to the standpipe to fill his bottle.

I dropped the table’s white skirt
and remembered letting go of her hand.
I wonder how well God sees in the dark. 

Gizelle Fletcher was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, and is currently studying poetry at the University of Florida. She does not own a cat.