I remember watching you
Stepping out of the shower with
Nothing on but a towel
Barely held up your narrow hips.
Your skin looked warm,
Your hair dripped wet.
It almost hurt to look.
The hurt is different now, with no reward in sight.
I have the urgency of old
Women on their knees,
Praying to God for what could be.
The unencumbered flow of their tears.
The beating of their breasts--
I miss you like that.
Like the old devotees who
Receive the stigmata,
I think I could wake up and
Bleed from every pore you touched.
I feel about you like that.
Where do I put you now?
Where do I sew myself up to keep you out?
Where do I let my wounds gape to leave room for you?
In heavy and blinding black habit
I would fall down, rub
Symbols of you between my fingers.
I would live a constant prayer to you,
Waiting for your great return
If you could assure me that
Like Jesus, or not like Jesus,
You are really coming.
Victoria Fryer lives in north-central Pennsylvania with her husband and two pit bulls, and writes to stay sane. She has work forthcoming in the anthology Open Doors 2: Fractured Fairy Tales from Wayman Publishing. You can find out more about her at her blog, http://makingwordshappen.blogspot.com.