Poetry Drawer: Passage Rites: Toss My Pics Like I Don’t Exist by Catherine Zickgraf

Passage Rites

I’m ten, trying to sit still
but my blinks grow long.
I’m following crumbs from pew
to balcony, dropping bulletins
to watch them spin.
The exhale of noise
and rituals of hymnals begin.

I’d rather be zip-tied
to the ladies room sink pipe.
My Sunday nylons with toe seams
make my feet squirm in my flats.
I’m thirteen, hung over,
my eyes too full of sun.
There’s smoke in my hair like a stale hat.

Is God out the window in the parking lot?
His voice in the foyer in the missionary map,
on the lobby wall lined with colourful tracts?
Sometimes God lives in my head,
there last night when I snuck out
and boys surrounded me,
when I threw up in my sister’s bed.

Toss My Pics Like I Don’t Exist

these years of silence I prefer
to your vaults of verses and violence,
words from your rotted tongue
rip me for my faults off the family tree.

You scissored my form from the Xmas portrait,
I took husband and sons with me.

Edges of my baby album are wavy with age.
The cover’s mother duck pulls a train of chicks.
I’m the one she dumped out and ditched.

Two lifetimes ago, Catherine Zickgraf performed her poetry in Madrid. Now her main jobs are to write and hang out with her family. Her work has appeared in the Journal of the American Medical AssociationPankVictorian Violet Press, and The Grief Diaries. Her chapbook, Soul Full of Eye, is published through Aldrich Press. 

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