boxed heaven

an imagery exercise.


i used to pray
to orange-can angels
and a tin-foil christ

watching my mama
through the keyhole
to make sure i got it right

every night the same ritual
dragging the box
from under my bed
i would open the lid on paradise

and on my knees
for hours in the dark
i would throw prayers upward
from my numb little body

sometimes i could hear
my mama’s prayers
drifting from the other room
her eyes closed, on her knees
just like me

i still have my boxed heaven
taped together and shut in my closet
i don’t need them anymore
their prayers are filled-up
and they wear white shrouds
of tissue paper

now i say my mama’s prayers
in my mama’s room
with her hollow plastic angels
and glow-in-the-dark christ

and sometimes
i can hear her voice
praying beside me

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