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MARINA GIPPS

(Chicago, Illinois)

Juana's Sestina


October came like a bandit who stole
every prayer saved in our afternoons of grief,
beside her empty bed and crucifix
where she once joked, holding her Bible,
of Christ lighting Judas's ass on fire.
They were friends now and she had been invited

to see this, as told in my dream, invited
me, but mother woke me before Death stole
me, almost gone into the sinner's fire.
But Grandmother Juana gone this October grief
would have saved me I know with her Bible
near bed, radio sermon and crucifix,

Would have joked of how she snuck the crucifix
away from church friends she hadn't invited,
to exchange gossip as they kissed her Bible,
the way words caress bloody Death who stole
our every prayer saved in our afternoons of grief,
laughing aloud of that dreamy fire,

that brash tail of a kite, high and afire,
and hovering above like a crucifix,
its childlike frame torn in the wind of grief:
how she flew and how we fly, she invited
me above our house one October that stole
our love, investing it into her Bible

that loves no blashphemy for the Bible
adores least those living in the Lake of Fire.
October came like a bandit who stole
Mami, our Juana, leaving her crucifix,
together in a dream where she invited
me to the sky where rain fell hard like grief.

And I awoke secretly with this grief
Kept like a tomb in my chest for her Bible,
our rosaries, yet she wanted me invited
to see Christ lighting Judas's ass on fire,
a party where they carry a crucifix
every October for sinners who stole,

including Death, who took her into that fire
to burn her small sins before Heaven invited
her, that eloquent joker, dead this October.

Submitted: Saturday, November 12, 2005
Edited: Saturday, June 23, 2007

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Comments about this poem (Juana's Sestina by MARINA GIPPS )

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  • RAY LUCERO (2/25/2006 9:16:00 AM)

    Marina,

    Wonderfully descriptive...especially the last three lines.
    Bravo Senorita...bravo!

    Ray (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

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