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Behind the Stone

Easter morning you pull on black hoodie,
force calloused feet into red Reebocks,
deny three times you’re in a rush,
blow off brunch. No leg of lamb for this
eighteen-year-old. I slip an oversized
card into my purse. Easter,

after all, is about hope.

I envision you sauntering past hostess stand,
late, table for four, white linen tablecloth
and sterling everyday affairs. Later, orange
sun melts behind weeping cherry blossoms,
ephemeral silhouettes slip into woods like
shapeshifters. I envision you out there—

stranger’s porch, parking lot.

Prescription untouched, chores undone,
you chose laced smokes, video games
over springtime ritual. You know not what you do.
My collar is crisp, necklace colorful as confetti,
yellow mimosa cool against my lips.
I welcome lazy conversation, settle into booth.

Sun blesses windows,

paints halos on waiters. I feast on crème brulee
but hunger for resolution. Who will roll stone
from tomb’s entrance? When will you outgrow this?
I tick off emotions: Bitter lemon distress. Fresh
ground peppered anger. Sour cream dread.
Everywhere, clergy preach verses of promise:

He is Risen. New life begins.

You text me after dark. Praise be!
I wrest terse messages from your domain.
“Uh-huh.” And your favorite: “No.”
Pearls of blood clinging to my crown of thorns,
I recognize that forgiveness is a sacred
form of freedom

we strive to procure.



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