#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

mormoni

My father’s epitaph had been a lie,
engraved into a stone tablet—
just like the 10 Commandments.
Both had been used to control beliefs.

David’s wealth was prolonging my father’s life,
even as he was enjoying my father’s wife.

Like Mary Magdalene,
I’d been visiting the empty grave of
the man my mother had practically deified—
the man whose blood would redeem me
from psychological incest.

For the sake of her soul,
she would not divorce,
but she would kill.
For the sake of Patrick’s soul.
she had preserved the body by
keeping him hooked to machines—
a mechanical embalming.

Mother Mary had been Mother’s idol,
but now she saw herself as a martyr—
a saint but not of the Catholic kind.

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#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

mormoni

For years,
we had visited an empty grave,
like Mary coming to see
the empty tomb.
The latter had risen,
the former had never died,
but had suffered for the sins
committed in Mother’s world.

My David—
who I’d thought a prince of a man,
an earthly king of kings—
had lain with a married woman,
whose husband he had paid
to keep alive.
Like King David,
he was,
but better.

David had kept the Fosters
a secret from Mother,
even as he had kept my father
a secret from me.
He was a complicated man,
& because of him,
I was a complicated woman.

My mother could’ve chosen to end my life in the womb,
but I could not choose to end her life outside it,
even though she had killed something inside me.

The foundation of our existence shook,
the pillars & posts of transparency tumbled around me,
& I walked through the valley of the shadow of spiritual death
in a temporal world that had become an anathema to me.

#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book

Mormoni

They said that the devil was the author of confusion. That made Mother his scribe, David, her copy editor, for he knew not from whence that confusion came.

Mother’s hatred for my father was greater than her love for David, but was it not her love for David that had made her hate my father so?

Her body went rigid, & her voice became brittle to the point of breaking. She was like a piece of merchandise that had been on the shelf for too long.

The sharpness of Mother’s words cut me, lacerating the beautiful picture of her I carried in the pocket of my heart—a picture that had seen me through many unfought wars.

Because my mother had made her decision to leave my father too late, my baby sister had been spared, being too far developed to snuff out.

That night, I found out the reason why my father couldn’t be buried in hallowed ground. That night, I knew why Mother clung to his spirit, as she never had his flesh.

It seemed contradictory to say that Mother & David had carnal knowledge of one another, which meant they had known one another in the Biblical sense.

#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book

Mormoni

Multiple marriages had produced but one child for Sister Wiley–the fruit of which was bitter–for as that child grew, her mother only grew lovelier.

Sexual sin, in the LDS Church, was second only to murder, for it murdered innocence, marriages, & sometimes, the unborn.

Poverty, Obedience, & Chastity were Catholic vows, but Chastity was the greatest of these when becoming a Mormon.

Mother would become Laurie Dalton, & I, if it were possible, would become Katryn Dalton for him.

There would be no more His & Hers, but Ours. However, we would not blend, but remain separate—Caitlin, hers, & David, mine.

David’s painting of Mother’s likeness had been unclear, while the objects surrounding her had been clearly delineated. It was I who was real to him.

That Night I’d seen David leave Caitlin’s room looking troubled would have no significance until The Day Caitlin told me about it.

Mother had never taken a candid snapshot of us, but rather, all we had were professional portraits, her girls posed & poised, like porcelain dolls.

Caitlin & I looked like child brides in the photos, Mother, a little girl herself. To find the mother I could love, I’d have to go way back.

My father’s red hair & beard looked like burnished gold in the sun, his fair image a sharp contrast to David’s virile one.

Because Tony & Kath had partaken of the forbidden fruits the other offered, according to Mother, they were good for no one else now.

Mother & David were shopping together, when it had always been I who had accompanied him. I was getting him, only to lose him in another way.

David’s hands began to stroke Mother’s legs, worshipping them as if they were the horns of the golden calf.

#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book

Mormoni

A restlessness began to stir within me that winter. I began to change as the leaves did, feeling myself unraveling from my tight-knit family.

If the Church was true, God would not answer my prayer. The only comfort I had was in knowing that God’s will was not always done.

Mother had Church now, Caitlin, her piano & dance, David, his art & professorship, but I had always been content with just enjoying life.

Once upon a time, Mother played the piano, but now she played the strings of our that held us up like marionettes.

David had painted Mother, but her pale, oval face was shrouded by her hair, cloaked in dark mystery, for he’d loved her from afar.

Long, luxurious dark hair fell not in waves, but in ripples, just as I imagined the notes that flowed from her fingers.

My mother had gone by Annie McCarrick then—a blue-collar girl from a Catholic family. She was now Laurie Nolan—a Southern Audrey Hepburn.

Mother had many forms—the one I’d known & the one only she knew. I’d loved the one who’d never existed.

He was still staring at the picture, or rather past it, and I knew that’s where his thoughts were—in the past he rarely shared with us.