“An offering” by Martha McCollough

An offering

by Martha McCollough

 

I had a strategy—
   God’s always more pleased with a prodigal.
 
Skin your knee & the nun says offer it up, think
of St. Lucy her eyes rolling on a plate or was it
her breasts—breasts might be Agatha—anyway
 
   it’s sick how she moons
   over Sebastian
   fainting & full of arrows—
 
with the black crayon
I give the boy in my book 
long curling hair
 
I add some arrows 
pile sticks at his feet
a billow of smoke
 
    he is more attractive this way.
 
Martyrs get a pass—
sin hard right up to the last minute
spent repenting
but the teacher is not convinced
there will be reconciliation in my case

     Puberty comes along
     One gets distracted

I draw a lady—
her breasts are
bigger than Agatha’s—

fishnet stockings, pirate rags
stiletto boots

      trying for slutty

      get sent to principal

My body is a temple or else
it’s what my mind is riding
a bad animal
       bit in its teeth
            not looking just running
when I hold on hard it thinks I mean
        go faster and it does

God, I hurt my knee; here
do you want to lick it or what?

Martha McCollough is a writer and video artist living in Chelsea, Massachusetts. Her poems have appeared in The Baffler, Cream City Review, and Salamander, among others. Her videopoems have appeared in Triquarterly, Datableed, and Atticus Review.