Parochial

Good morning, crosswalk,
chimneys,
gull with purple foot. Peppers
strung together
like one hot-blooded sting,
good morning, are we fine,
will daytime (copper) gleam?
Another night of worry sleep.
I am and am not ink.
In Catholic school, Catholic John
pen-stabbed my hand.
It’s still there, blue wound,
blurred, imperfect dot.
The statue of St. Francis
had one prayerful hand
freckled by droppings—
or was it time that stained?
I said hello, my damaged saint,
good morning to our hands.

Rick Alley

About Rick Alley

Rick Alley lives and teaches in Norfolk, VA. His first book of poems, The Talking Book of July, is published by Eastern Washington University Press, and his chapbook, August Machine, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. Rick's poems also appear in the anthologies Who Are The Rich and Where Do They Live (Poetry East) and American Poetry: The Next Generation (Carnegie Mellon).
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