A Silent Hallelujah

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.)