On the morning of my First Communion,
I stood in a doorway fingering white tulle.
I hear my mother’s voice:
You never fuck me anymore.
My father, fixing his tie, caught my eye
like a foul ball as he left their bedroom.

Months later while he was on a boy’s trip
to Ireland, my mother found a bin filled
with my father’s porn—magazines plastered
with blonde women cupping their alien breasts,
their eyes x’d out, big, black words shouting
I held my mother in our attic,
her voice rattled like tin:
your father told me he was impotent.

For years, I’d grow afraid of my body at night,
my hands fraught and fumbling in the dark:
the pink scar-kisses across my breasts, my hips;
the fleshy curve of my belly against my palms;
my underwear wet and foreign as my thumb circled
an unknowable, soft planet. Come morning, I’d wake
to find myself unbeautiful again.

Tonight, my legs rise to the ceiling in praise;
a silent “hallelujah,” a swell of organs in an empty
church hall. When he enters me, engulfed in a sweet
warmth, his face darkens in a rowdy smile.
My hips fan out and up, and I take all of him.
My eyes flick to the window, orange with morning.
I think of my mother, hunched over a sea
of naked ladies with no names.

Can you repent for someone else’s sin?
I close my eyes, cry out ten Hail Mary’s—
a hymn rocking in our hips, a pew full
and clapping blindly on a Sunday.

Kimberly MacCormack is a theatrically-inclined senior who, above all else, has a love for words. Unsure of the impending future, Kimberly enjoys drinking copious amounts of coffee and telling stories, both of which she is 100% sure will always be two constants in her life. Unending gratitude is given to all the story-tellers in her life who have given themselves generously and without judgement over the years (all of whom have inspired poems, journal entries, plays, and acting roles.)

You might also enjoy: