self-portrait as a nun

you treat each window
like a postage stamp. beneath your feet
the world is glass. in the morning 
even the church smells red.
when you question god it is always
an address. is there someone there?
in the mirror you are often a crow.
perch. preen the old feathers.
mind flickering with trinkets passed
on sidewalks: a penny an earring.
every sink in the sacristy leads
to soil below. sometimes you wash
your own hands there--dream of
returning to dirt. the hail mary
is so firm it makes a body in you.
a woman in blue carrying a bundle of sticks
& pretending it is a child. a part of you
will always trust holy water
no matter how many bugs you've fished
from the fountain. hair is a dormant castle.
disappeared underneat a veil or
threat of perminance. 
you used to plan weddings
but now you are safe inside a promise.
sometimes god is a tree 
on the sidewalk reaching for
his own inch of sun. as a girl,
this was everything you feared.
you pictured the habit & the robes.
you pictured yourself folded
& thumbing a rosary like 
another woman's hand. now, you are
all of this & more. prayer escapes you
like breath. your doubts are 
living things. you light candles 
in the church. sleep beneath the tree.

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