Scripture From Young Corruption

I have misplaced the notebook
where I keep my heart.
where I've needed it most.
in a burst of overwhelming
confession I turned to this:

an empty pew
the first row
as close to the marbled altar
as I could get

my head was bowed in modesty,
awe, defeat, distress and shame.
a bounty of human fracture and
cracked purity misting over in regret.

I doubt saints accept regret as
penance for crimes left
unpunished- untouched in
splendor of some magnificent deceit.
I knelt on my tired bones
and crossed once for forgiveness,
to this moment and my clarity.

I set myself palm to palm with
my battered tissue
still damp from each facet of
hurt that tore a line from a well
I had never known could spring
a leak.

it blazed a trail of fire,
the one made of disgrace
licking its way down my flesh
of cheek and each prick I
offered in sacrifice to the eternal
weeping crucifix.

oh body, can you help me?
can you make this last?
it feels like every inch of me
is bruised.

I am humble by the technicolor
of these scenes in the window.
they whirl to rainbow and I'm feeling
like Dorothy-
only I never made it home
and maybe this is still a dream so
I will do what I have always done;
tying my wrists together with a
rosary and falling for crucible.

trying not to weep at the thought
of all the grandmothers who
sobbed in my place
praying for something real:
for the frail babies
or the marriage quickly
falling apart.

The men who gave grace to
La Santa Virgen Maria
because they believed a woman
could cast a savior.

I become demon in the house of God.
I am selfish in prayer and hearty
in dismissal.

I pray for:
my mother's patience
my father's security
the grade just out of reach
a job I need for gasoline

the kneeling is a prison
I am locked in mind until
I rise but I cannot
stand for my prayers.

I dimly wonder if I can clean slate.
rewind the moment so I can watch
myself walk backwards down the aisle
and close the oak doors of purity
to restart faith. I will uncross
myself. unkneel, unbow. unweep
to the moment and start anew.

I stare down at my stockings
pale in comparison to my face,
thinking for all the world that I
could be an atheist one day.
deep breath...

and open the doors. If the
homeless can find Christ in
the alleyway at St. Peters

I can find him in:
an empty pew
the first row
as close to the marbled altar
as I can get to,