Thursday, May 15, 2014

poem of the day 05.15.14


it would have to be on the honor system
catholicism being what it was
but we were all going to tell the priest
in the confessional room the same thing

that we were excessive masturbators

it beat telling the priest that we swore and stole
or snuck smokes on basketball courts
that we were mean to our parents and fellow man

when i went in the confessional room
the priest was sitting in a chair facing the wall
my chair was to the back of him

hello, he said.

hey, i said
we waited
oh, yeah, it’s been some months since my last confession

then we waited again
you may begin at any time, the priest finally said

so i started telling him
but instead of the masturbation i started telling him
about ripping off baseball cards and snuff from thrift drug
how i stole some of my old man’s kools

hmmm, the priest said
he looked at his watch

it was boring shit
so i got with the program

father, i said
i also like to play with myself
uh, hmmmm, he said.  he perked right up

i can’t stop, i continued
exercise shows, sitcom moms, movie starlets,
blonde evening news anchors on channel 11,
my neighbor who never wears a bra,
my old man’s playboys, batgirl, wonder woman,
and cher in that black leather outfit that showed her…

okay, the priest said.  i think i understand
what’s going on here

he started craning his neck
trying to get a look at me

if he craned left, i went right

he sighed
if we’d done our jobs correctly
he’d heard this story a lot

except cher
i added cher on my own

the priest didn’t even offer any words of encouragement
he made me do the act of contrition
which i forgot midway through

just go out and say five hail mary’s, he told me

when i got up the poor fool
had his head resting in his hands

he had another three of us to go before
he could seek the solace of release

when i got back into the main area
calvin deflino was waiting to go in

what did you do? he said

i added cher, i told him

then he gave me a wink and a high five
before going in to say his peace
and receive such immaculate absolution.


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