I made a deal with myself and went to Rome
to buy a rosary.
Being the good Catholic I am, I married
ritual and desire
to see the Pope’s ruby slippers, the Vatican
archives, the yellow
bright road of redemption. What is salvation
sin? Badness before being bad. When Michael
sang I’m bad,
I’m bad, you know it, he meant good, good,
He knew the heat of sin, the pontiff’s cassock
cherubim and choir boys, sweet angels sang
of the Lord, sang the body of Christ, sang
bungled the beads of the rosary, witnessed
of the faithful going up, up, up.
Note: this poem’s first two lines are drawn from Savannah Sipple’s lovely poem “Cheap Dreams”
DANIELLE LEGROS GEORGES is a writer, translator, academic, and author of several books of poetry including The Dear Remote Nearness of You, winner of the New England Poetry Club’s Sheila Margaret Motten book prize. She directs the Lesley University M.F.A. program in creative writing. Her awards include fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, The Boston Foundation, and The Black Metropolis Research Consortium. In 2015 she was appointed Boston’s second Poet Laureate. Jennifer Waddell photo.