All my Theresas in one basket

Two on prayer cards,
one bent,
saint of a snapped-back neck and a blessed open mouth.
The folds of her dress peaked to stand up on their own
in points all over her body—her thoughts
must have been so dirty.
Another missing her chain, hides under the card,
gets polished and worn and in days she glows
bright yellow under a glass lick of sweat.
Her back side worn down enough by flesh
so this thing about a coming shower of roses can be kept
just between us.
All of us thinking we haven’t gotten enough in return
(though never saying it),
and going on as if all these prayers are meant for someone else,
this gold arrow doing the threading,                                            stinging.
And not a one of us pure silver.


Meg Cowen writes, paints and lives in the mountains of rural New Hampshire. She has been awarded the Elizabeth Curry Prize in poetry and has new writing in Passages North, Whiskey Island, PANK and interrupture.