Chrissy Montelli


I dream of holes in my hands, play Mary Magdalene—but when I tell you this,
your eyes become a glue kind of kindling. To contrast canonization & martyrdom,
color-by-number the shoeprints etched into funeral parlor carpets. Communion
wafers only go down smooth when flavored by wine—hubris is believing
that holes in my hands make me important somehow.
But there is truth in this bed: I sleep bare-breasted because I am the only person
concerned with how I look between sheets. When my eyes close the room lights fire
at my very breathing—blushes of oxygen, smoke eking out ears. You’re too important.
We both know why
                             you wouldn’t stay.             Laundry list for next year: fuck someone
who won’t call me soul mate with one foot wedged in the door. I want to know
that being flammable does not mean I can be destroyed—I leash hymns into bridges
like recycled skin cells, carry words in my mouth like Eucharist. Every seven years
the body regenerates, no, evolves: lashes together fresh skeletons bone-by-bone.
They do not always look the same: melanin clusters as braille—new prayers threaded
through palm-holes, feathery on the inside. I wake up a new kind of language.
When I magdalene out of bed, what makes my nudity artistic? The red face of a virgin
or cardstock inkprint sludged into penance? Do I look the same?