FLANNERY O'CONNOR AND I GO BOWLING
a lane is also an aisle. a ball is also a weight.
i bought her a ninety-cent fountain drink
that in her hands morphed into a pitcher of light,
a pitcher made of light full up with light,
light inside of light, sharp pulsing brightness
of a birth or a blow. when she drank
a blaze ripped down her throat in one straight line,
and in her stomach i saw cells take the light
to all corners of skin, all specks of blood,
each small grain of bone. god hovered
in place above the pin machine, opening
and closing his mouth. i touched her palm
so i could hear him, the roar of his voice
sweeping down the boards, tumbling and crashing,
keeping careful score. wouldn’t it be best
if we were different people, i said,
but she told me the self comes back
like a sleeping bulb, like a bowling ball,
returned from tunnels under the earth,
delivered for us to throw away again.
ABOUT THE POET
Maria Zoccola is a queer Southern writer with deep roots in the Mississippi Delta. She has writing degrees from Emory University and Falmouth University. Her work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in Ploughshares, 32 Poems, The Massachusetts Review, Colorado Review, Southern Indiana Review, Salamander, and elsewhere.
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