Two red hearts drawn on a grey sidewalk.

Mary, intercede for me.
I know I had a rosary

once, but I can’t find it.
It had dark red beads,

and a pewter cross.
Please, Mary, intercede

for me. I want a life
worth living, and I’m tired

of asking my father
and my therapist

for this. A life soft and pink
as a calf’s nose, a life

roomy and good and
good and good. You see

what my life is now: one blow
of desert-dust in the eyes

after another, and a hot sun
clawing at my back at that. No,

that’s a lie. The truth is nothing hurts
enough, and sometimes I can’t feel

if my heart’s really in my heart-place. Mary,
check for me, is it there? Mary,

with bird-soft hands, endless flower
of face. Intercede for me,

bleed for me, whatever it is
you do. Make my living

into less of a joke, plunge
a fat, red heart inside me,

make me cry,
make me cry.


Photo by meghan dougherty, used and adapted under CC.