Penance

(for MT)

You teased, when we were girls,
That my love of books and daily mass
Over boys meant that I must
Like girls.

And I despaired for my baby soul
For a week;
Begged my bemused pastor
For forgiveness;

Tried holy water to rinse
The wrongness away,
Til I begrudged you
The joke.

Someone, when we were women,
Told me that in open hallways and
On your couch-surfed bed you
Were holding women.

And I remembered
The bowtie scherzos
The suspender ragtimes
The Holst’s-Jupiter of backpats
The swearing refrains with your brothers

In backyard football
You scream-whisper-singing that Katy Perry song
In the backseat
Of your mother’s Toyota
Your mother

With her twelve-times teeming
Womb and the blue swing
Of her rearview-mirror
Rosary.
And the hellish tears

And the stubborn prayers.
And for years, still,

I could say I love you.
And til now, only,

Love hasn’t one note
Of pity.

Is your music a music
I can apologize to?

Is the role of apologizer
Itself
Too much privilege?

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