by Lauren Rose

hail mary full of grace,

I sit in a pew
head bowed
dress torn
drinking her whispers

the lord is with thee.

I sit in a pew
and the bell in the steeple peals once
a round, yawning call
murmuring in my ears
prickling my skin

blessed are thou among women

I sit in a pew and lift my head
she stands at the end of the aisle
cloaked
face concealed by shadow
I rise

blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus.

I sweep the last lick of liquor from my lips
step silently
bare feet on red carpet
towards her shrouded figure

holy Mary Mother of God,

the bell in the steeple peals
warning
a round, yawning cry
murmuring in her ears
prickling her skin
she glides forward

pray for us sinners

sin
shivers through my scalp
spine
belly

now and at the hour of our death

I grasp her hood
and remove it

amen.


Lauren Rose was born on Misawa Air Force Base in Japan in 1999. She is a senior at Sierra Nevada University studying biology, creative writing, and outdoor adventure leadership. She currently resides in Tucson, Arizona. Her previous work can be found in issue six of Burnt Pine Magazine and will soon be available in the fall 2020 issue of Peregrine, the 2020 issue of Ricochet Review Poetry Journal, and the Running Wild Press Anthology of Stories Volume 4, Book 2. She has been recognized by seven Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Follow her on Facebook at @lauren.rose.102 and Instagram at @rose_lauren.e.

Related Post: “Dead Deer” by Lauren Rose