Unholy Communion

She called herself Catherine, after that astonishing saint. Now at the sink splashing tap water on shadowed pits, seams of black stockings creep crookedly up shapely legs to disappear beneath the ragged lace hem of a slip; nylon leers looking for ablution. She had given up work for lent, but it was two days past Ash, and "bidness were bidness, Joe." Lighting a camel, she hung it off her bottom lip, smiling at me through smoke that wafted across her face, wisps of ghosts bringing tears to dead eyes. She coughed violently, spat the gift in the open toilet. She hooked a black bra behind her, half cups offered up blue-veined breasts like sacramental flesh. Pulling on a carmine colored skirt, too tight for Mass, she caught the waist with a safety pin, and said "what God don't see won't give much offense." Hard sin grows with bought thought; hot, pulsating abcesses infecting my groin. Heart pounds consternation at this state of disgrace, threatens to fly from its constricted cavity, splat in bloody pentinence at the feet of St. Jude, pathetic saviour for my hopeless confessions. She needed communion, because of her work; sacrifice for lent went lacking. "I notice da parish house don't do widout," she laughed, and the jiggled camel dumped its gray load between the two sacraments. She giggled like a caught child, flicked it away with nails painted Irish green to match her eyes. We sat in the back, as befitted our station, the last up to recieve Eucharist. I held God on my tongue until he melted there, gagging me with sticky guilt born of broken belief. We lit candles as we left, white wax to repose our souls.

1 comment:

Paintings guy said...

Beautifully written, and fascinating.