by Sue Fagalde Lick

A view of a large spiral staircase looking down from above.

Bless me, Father, it has been,
oh my God, seven years
since my last confession,
you know, after the accident.
Before that, a decade or two.
I don’t do confessions well.

You know, the Protestants
say we don’t need this,
we can just talk to God,
avoid the nerve-wracking
wait in line, eavesdropping
on murmuring voices in the box.

My heart is beating so hard,
as if I had killed someone.
No. I’m frankly fuzzy on the
protocol from second grade,
scary sister in black habit,
Fr. B whom we all feared.

Okay. Sorry. Moving on.
My sins are the blurry kind.
I didn’t eat meat on Friday,
but I did eat too much,
and I gossiped, I just love
a good story, don’t you?

I cursed. It just jumps out.
God damn it. Jesus Christ.
Son of a bitch. Fuck.
What? You get it, yeah.
Sex? Nothing to say about that.
Sometimes I yell at my dog.
She’s deaf; it doesn’t count.

Father, I must have sinned
somewhere along the line, but
I can’t give you dates and times.
I’m here confessing anyway.
Swab my soul like Mr. Clean,
give me prayers to pray.
See you again in seven years.

Sue Fagalde Lick
Sue Fagalde Lick has published two chapbooks, Gravel Road Ahead and The Widow at the Piano: Poems by a Distracted Catholic. Her poems have appeared in many journals, including Cirque, Presence, Rattle, and Fireweed. Sue works as a Catholic music minister and lives on the Oregon coast with her dog, Annie.


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