Lady Poet

Take your theology like tea,
saucer it, let
your mouth and the cup’s rim
scald themselves with tannin;
crack your lips,
and you will let the acid in.
Drink and recall
childhood’s Methodist women
tilting their cups, each little finger vertical
against black lace.
The wrong fingers! the tea-drinkers’ eyes
avid for Grace.
Hate them, recite the poem
you wrote in your cups.
“Give the bishops barbiturates!” you said, mixing
your denominations up.
Stanzas I hardly remember:
slurred, abrupt.
Give me my wish tomorrow
and I will design
a mirror to hand back your God poem
faithfully, line by line,
since the lost features that wrote it are all
gone — moonshine.