Boy’s First Mass
you would imagine the nature of God,
to what’s real in this world.
of St. Joseph
something like dressing out
for your first real football game.
in full medieval armor,
deemed worthy at last:
helmet, shoulder pads, rib pads,
hip pads, thigh pads, knee pads.
You crowd doorways, overwhelm chairs.
Cleated shoes lift you above yourself.
You shuffle slick floors
wary as testing ice
to consider walking on water.
Straps, buckles, laces chafe
welts into your skin like lashes.
You worship pain’s plain and simple
virtue, a gospel
of bloody noses and bruised bones.
like your first real date
the girl drifts in and out of
like a wish
and you a bungle of awkwardness
with no place to put your hands
you’ve been dreaming about.
Inside, ghostly murmurings:
Come close, come close.
Let me be what you would have me be.