The homily said we must be more forgiving,
but I don’t like lying knees that beg for
repentance so they can sin all over again.
The rabbits in my backyard keep running
from the orange tabby that stalks our neighborhood.
Sometimes I’ll find a martyr lying in the yard,
broken at the neck that dared to voice
against its oppressor. I wanted to tell you
about my ball and chain, my number stitched
into my clothes—I wanted to tell you about
the orange tabby that tried to break my neck.
The sermon wouldn’t stop fluttering up
and down like a summer’s day that calls
for showers; the people wouldn’t stop kneeling
and standing, repenting and lying. Everywhere
I turn, I run into the orange tabby, or I catch a
glimpse of his fired tail. Sometimes I’ll see
his green eyes, glowing, staring at me. I wanted
to tell you about the orange tabby, but he was
kneeling behind me, flicking his tail
against the pew, glaring at me.
Krista Rossi is a Philadelphia native and current marketing manager. When she’s not writing, she’s usually meeting with her book club (City Line Paper Cuts) or advising SJU’s literary magazine (Crimson & Gray). Her poetry has appeared in The Ibis Head Review, Black Fox Literary Magazine, and The Esthetic Apostle.