Poem: Adoration on the Corner of Main and 7th

Illustration by Ella Corder

Adoration on the Corner of Main and 7th

The kneepads of the church pew are a marvel of physics

holding three or four at a time on one hinge without snapping

or otherwise flipping the pew into a churchgoer’s teeth

while the holy water sits pruned in its bath and Jesus hangs

wooden and hollow, suspended from the rafters

Am I only here because I love the Catholic boy

with the strange peace and beautiful mouth?

I hold my breath while we whisper to each other

and I hope he cannot smell tequila on my tongue

and I try not to think of myself as the Hunchback’s Esmerelda

Only the wind and pen-scratches are heard

as I write this on the hymnal guide over the other additional sound of

his eyes glinting like teething baby serpents

I only pray when I’m having a nightmare or travelling

The pew creaks beneath the weight of sin

The piano starts again

and I know I am missing something

I wish I said things like “I saw the beauty of God in her”

and the candles burn low

and furthermore, I wish I were Catholic so I could confess

and someone would breathe an answer

through the screen

He prays in complete stillness while I keep peeking around

I was the only one watching when he sang

Am I so shallow after all the groping?

I am pulled into the murky blackness

of the stained glass of the night,

oh the endless searching in the dust

my hands bleed

for I am the ladybug circling under the light

the wooden walls seep with song,

and I feel only the old tightness in my chest

I am a ball of nerves watching the entrance

because I would be the first to die

These are not the thoughts of a decent churchgoer

I only pray to ask and to apologize

dear God, help me out of this hole,

his pew parallel to his forearms

his eyes on something I cannot see

By Ella

I am an undergraduate junior studying creative writing. I am interested in short fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction and professional writing.

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