Alizon Kiel


A Good Woman


Lit candles dimly
The artist portrayed a rotund sky
In little pointed stars and artificial moonlight

I remember seeing through once squinted eyes
The cloudy night steam
Hissing the exhaling day

Sidewalks hold their breath all day in the summer

I confessed the things I’d done under that artificial moon
Insisting convincing
Lord, let nothing take away

I am a good woman
I am a good woman
I am a good woman

This mantra Mary hears

I saw her once
Did I tell you?

Through once squinted eyes
With the cloudy night steam hissing
The street exhaled that day
It was the summer

My bare feet warm under the stars touching the sidewalk
I felt as if I’d held my breath all day
When she stroked my hair and said

You are a good woman
You are a good woman
You are a good woman

Touch tip to candle to flame to pray
To those who have already gone out
A good prayer must be tended

Gone to the shrine
To sit with silence
A very old chapel near a very old river
Sweat on my neck
Absolution-come-unto-me

I am a good woman
I am a good woman
I am a good woman

Submitted: Sunday, May 23, 2010

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