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HOMETOWN, USACatholic Girls


Mortal sin was no laughing matter,
God knows,
so I believed
sex was serious,
humorless as the Catholic girls
in the dark afterward
who hurried into tangled clothes
like startled butterflies fleeing
back inside cocoons,
gathering guilt
with each lacy, silken layer,
retreating with furious regret
into silence
ringing with forsworn oaths
and catechismed vows:
and me the Judas thief
taking pleasures that they offered
but were not theirs to give.

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