Born Again

Michael McManus

Of all things to signal the end, clarify its position, it was nipples,

yes nipples, the heavy, industrial types swollen against a tight

tee shirt, or teasingly dark beneath a sheer blouse.

Forego the lacy uplifts, I had told her, give me blood simple flesh

with no constraints, a chance to praise your prime past thirty.

She called me sick, perverted, began wearing Victorian dresses,  &

covered her breasts in concrete bunkers, hired gunners

to guard their flanks. And then the bible became her amphetamine.

It fueled her renaissance to habitual prophet. She shot

John under her toenail, Luke in her right arm, and then her heart

pounding, face flushed, pupils wide and roaring, cried out to warn me

that the flames of some monolithic hell circled about my feet.

I began to believe the apocalypse approached, so each day I kept

a vigilant storm watch on the horizon, and wondered when lightning

flashed and our anger rolled from the bed as thunder, if this was the end?

I hate to blame it on religion, so for Christmas I bought her a gold

bound bible, and plenty of Victoria’s Secret. That was six months ago.

Now it’s late August, outside the temperature scorches the landscape,

inside I drink Irish Catholic beer. She sleeps on the bed in a cotton

sweat suit, legs crossed, arms folded, her needs all prim and Protestant.