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"Fair Linen" by Pat Lerin

Updated: Apr 30



I touch behind His ears;

the wind howls, four thousand dragon flies take flight

he comes in his jeans

– moonlight staining the night –

and apologizes.

I forgive him and we laugh at the perversion,

how freaky can we get

I creep through God’s window and play him a mixtape

formaldehyde fills my lungs as we sing along to Extreme

that night, I take his virginity and I am certain I will never be forgotten

this soiled linen will preserve me here,

it will remember weakness and girlhood as He makes it so.

he comes in 19 seconds

– summertime and a blizzard, burlesque and jam sandwiches all at once.

I kiss Him before he can qualify the end of our lovemaking with an apology.

womanhood’s looming grief will pass me by

I’ll be a girl, not a virgin like the others but pure anyhow

someone who loved him like I could not provide.

If he decided to stay with me he’d go hungry

I’d bear witness but never children,

build a home I cannot heat.

what has a girl got besides her heart? what else could dress a naked altar?





Pat Lerin is a writer who enjoys the bus.

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