by Ashley Cardona
I should have thought it extraordinary
when each time a memorial from some indifferent lover
some sweet ghost in the mirror, pretty enough
to be alive, threatened my simplicity with wonder,
enough cocktails, or a quart of sun. I went looking
for nothing, never certain there would be space enough
for all the life-sized voices scratching at the door like trouble.
Some wheedling babble, some pretty erotica, some crown
charred by the coals of a jealous god—I mouthed a bribe
powerful enough to call forward, in bowed pity, the last kindness,
a weak and endangered thing. The shape of holiness,
when it unlocked, is like a woman—
alive to touch, not confined nor covered, wishing only
to have all the answers in a book.
Ashley Cardona lives in the Twin Cities with her husband and two mischievous dogs where she teaches high school kids to unlearn the five-paragraph essay. She holds an MFA from Augsburg College where she has been associate editor of the newly founded Howling Bird Press. Her work appears in Dressing Room Poetry Journal and others.