National Poetry Month
about sacred hearts,
here’s the story of my first communion,
and bridal dress with floral overlay
as she did my costumes on Halloween.
burned, to make room for God, the fever said,
When the wafer touched my tongue, I gagged.
I made believe it was a petal
I pressed my lips against their ruffled mouths,
through thousands of openings, skin like lace.
It would be ten years before I fell away,
rising from death. In middle-of-night dark
my throat. Wine still stinging my tongue, I stood
arms raised, holding out only the white
while the moon poured over the dogwood tree
I understood his was another name
a flower’s throat to live as winter,