by Steven Dawson

To apologize for your vanishing
you brought me a loosey
and a rolled-up Hustler and we sat

in your new car trading smoke.
This happened every few months,
a kind of church service for holiday

Catholics. In that steel cathedral
you preached what you thought
I’d absolutely need: how to cheat

the cylinder inside a lock,
what words undress a virgin,
why I can’t confuse the compass

with the cross and how to blame
heaven if you went to hell.
From the passenger seat of that

stolen Cutlass you were a ruined
simile—the way the back
of an empty tow truck looks

like a crucifix and how in the small
light of that blinking patrol car
you blushed like a martyr

Steven Dawson is an MFA student at Purdue, where he serves as poetry editor of Sycamore Review. He was raised in Los Angeles and Denver. This is his first publication.

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