at three pm,
I show up to the church
just my tourmaline in
hand, hair covered
and I begin.
    God, I renounce all
        evil in me.
my hands twisted
like roots, the white string
of my cuff ties
between my knuckles,
nervous
and he says
take your time.

beads of sweat fall
down my spine and
I can feel the pleather
stuck to the bottom of
my thighs so that if I moved,
it’d rip.
    I’m obsessed with time,
    and that’s not the issue
      but how I count it
    in riddles.
he cannot see the way
I move my leg;
the natural tremble
it’s developed.
        it’s what I say in
    blackouts, or even now,
      the way it has to be correct.
    the way it spills out of me.

daughter, what?

I’m nodding
my head in some sort
of agreement with the
rush I feel from purge,
the glow of sun
through pink stained glass
across my cheek,
the bend of legs
on pews,
the comfort of
the ailing,  the
rhymes,
to ailment.
the comfort of beads
in hands, the
alms.

I am practicing
throwing
my
arms
open
when
people
first
walk into the room
but also
remembering what
I scream at doors
in panic.

“the recitations”

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