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Saint Monica Burns It Down by Mary Biddinger

Saint Monica Burns It Down

by Mary Biddinger

(published in Valparaiso Poetry Review)


It wasn’t her house, but she would strip

it of its bricks if she could, imagining

all of the hair and sesame oil and lye

inside after she had finished. Rooms


where he slipped from pilled flannel

sheets to creep back into her window

with a warm Budweiser in each pocket,

as if he’d never even left. His two terriers


sputtering like motorbike engines through

the night, quiet in his absence, holed up

in ruts beneath the shed. She heard his

feet on the mulch outside, reflections


of his white undershirt illuminating

the window frame. He did not know

there were glass shavings on the ledge,

seeds from the Habanero she coaxed into


unimaginable lengths and heat. When he

landed in the holly bushes he was blind.

Across town, the other woman sipped

cordial by the light of a gas stove.



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