Madonna of material, I snapped
my rosary, made it into a bracelet for you
at Sunday school, sneaked downstairs
to see you lit before inflamed crosses,
my fingers scented with your patchouli-
cassette. I get drunk, Madonna.
So drunk I sneak leftover drinks
from the bar. I lose myself in the mirror
plucking gray hairs, tug at the sag
in my belly. I want to conquer my fear of
heights, Madonna. Of having roaches or the virus
inside my body. I want a cheap twenty-two
year old lover that doesn’t speak
English. I want my hair bleach blond.
I want to go to the bar, Mother. I want
a vodka double, Mother, a double vodka
Madonna on the rocks.
Stephen Zerance is the author of Caligula’s Playhouse (Mason Jar Press, 2016). His poems have appeared in West Branch, Prairie Schooner, Quarterly West, Assaracus, and Knockout, among other journals, as well as on the websites of Lambda Literary and Split This Rock. He received his MFA from American University, where he received the Myra Sklarew award. Stephen lives in Baltimore, MD.
This poem appears in Caligula’s Playhouse.