Cabaret of Saints

In my eggnog-soaked sleep-wake
my big brother surveys the crowd
of one, dressed as the Infant of Prague.
Had he lived, he would’ve been my
drag-queen protector, armed with holy
hand grenade and .22 gauge scepter.
This year, he dismounts his cabaret-
style pulpit, amazed to see me still alive
and piercing orange skins with cloves—
my fingertips bleeding love.
It sucks, I say, that you had to be
stillborn on Christmas Eve.

It’s all good, he quips, in that Jesus-y
voice of his. Give me your hands and
I will give you peace. Have pity on
me and I will sing you show tunes.


A native San Diegan, Michele Karas studies poetry in the MFA Creative Writing program at the City College of New York, where she is also a graduate editor of Promethean. By day, she works as an associate copy director for a top-five U.S. book publisher. Michele’s poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Narrative, Thrush Poetry Journal, Pea River Journal, and Alaska Quarterly Review. Find her on Twitter @small_peace.