Another Poem About God but Really, It’s About Me

Diannely Antigua  

You would’ve made a lousy nun, the woman

on the A train says to the person on the other end

of the phone. I laugh to no one and imagine 

what a lousy nun would actually do — maybe sneak

a lover into her room on Ash Wednesday or take

off her wedding ring from God, let the sun

touch the unveiled skin. I was never

a nun, but I was called Sister, and Brothers

were not allowed to do more than shake

my hand. I was called daughter when the pastor 

kissed my cheek, when I was worth more than rubies.

I was a good Sister for a decade — I was

good. After I left, I still prayed to all the Fathers

who weren’t mine. I opened my mouth

to their wisdom, and in my tongue was the law

of kindness. I became their Mary

Magdalene — holy by day, whore by night —

perfuming the feet of every man named

Jesus. After I left, I stayed devout —

devout to recklessness, devout to taking

out my virgin. I don’t remember craving

anything so much as my own destruction.

It was beautiful to watch from the bleachers

of my mind, separating myself from

all the Sisters inside me. In Proverbs,

it is virtuous for a woman to work willingly

with her hands. I only wanted to bring virtue

unto my name when I held each new body in my palms.

I only wanted to bring virtue when I hid

in the bathroom, slapped my face.



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