there’s an angel who loiters outside the
liquor store, all wings & eyes & too many
limbs; darkness drips from her like honey,
and she tells me stories in exchange for
cigarettes & tootsie pops.
i was the one who struck paul down on
the road to damascus she says from her
left mouth; i tell her my bible is a blackout
poem and if i ever get to heaven i’ll knock
him down a second time.
her mouths twist indignantly around an
orange lollipop and a handful of cigarettes
but she says nothing about the blasphemy,
the hypocrisy in the patron saints strung
around my neck and my nightly prayers;
there was a time i wanted to be like the
water that coursed through the river jordan,
baptizing all i touched, but i have known too
many men who rinse their hands in fluidity,
unrepentant. now i would be as stone:
unyielding to the dust.
the angel understands this, too. there was
a reason Legions could live in a man’s body
when even the pigs wouldn’t take them. we
are both of us among the fallen, now.
it’s all that anger. all that belief, but only in the
parts we like; she likes the liquor store and i
like when john says there is no fear in love; i don’t
know how these fractions can mean more than
the whole, but they do.
kmp is a southern californian poet and an undergraduate student double majoring in comparative literature and anthropology and double minoring in gender and sexuality studies and archaeology. their work has previously been published in The Wall, Neon Anteater Renaissance, New Forum, Rising Phoenix Review, L’Éphémère Review: Issue IV, Disquietude, and Werkloos Mag: “In Limbo”, as well as on their blog https://ashandabstraction.tumblr.com/.