Waiting for the Bishop

I was angry.
I felt hot and righteous.
I dressed my hips
In a black
Short skirt. “Too short,”
Said my sister-in-law. 

I must speak
to the bishop. The Bishop
Is my best friend’s father.
I put on what I thought would protect me 

I wait for the
Bishop. While I wait
I think
Guilt is a vein vice;
Dying would be easy,
Like going fishing

There aren’t enough hours in the day
To pray why did I let that boy undress my consciousness?
I am waiting for the
Bishop. Everyone has to wait for
The Bishop.

In this
Valley men thirst for
God, but women are starving
For anyone. It’s acid
Rancid bite existence. 

I have all but dried up
Thirsting for God;
My belly is distended,
Starving for anyone.
I bathe in acid rain
And bite my tongue
And bide my time. 

I desire power
My sex cannot assume:
Immediate revelation,
The laying-on-of-hands. The 

Bishop, he opens the door
And ushers me in. I lay
Bare for him;

My sins known,
My skin showing,
My trial. I accuse myself of
Heresy, apostasy.
I say
“ I cannot be your kind of woman.” 

We bash books,
We shake Psalms. 

We reach a stalemate because the Bishop is not God
Or John Winthrop
And it is not 1637. 

I leave triumphant
At our impasse. I am
Full from fighting,
Exotically free,
Inexplicably healed. 

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