My Mother’s Blessing

Sebastián Hasani Páramo

Always a sign of the cross

on my forehead —

There are afternoons

she brings a recycled bottle

of Ozarka spring water —

she fills it with holy water,

her index & thumb

splash grace there

because she won’t let

her husband’s sins

poison me, she wants

God to protect & bless

me from the wickedness

of vice. She calls him

pig, demon, wailing

in the streets,

stinking of perfume,

not hers & she wants

to wash it away; that’s why

she throws holy water at him & me

because we won’t be good men,

we won’t be as good as the Father

who speaks for God

with his sermon &

I always want to line up

for the body & blood,

but it’s been years since my last confession

& I don’t know where to begin, Mother.


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