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Aaron Lembo: a poem

Go Girl

Dead scandals form good subjects for dissection

Sister Carmela educated me

in Religious Studies.

At Roman Catholic Mass, each Saint's Day

in the Sports Hall,

her neck would thicken, her mouth would gape,

when anticipating the body of Christ.

She would shuffle towards the priest

(dead centre of the make-shift stage)

in front of the rostrum and climbing frame

as the school choir sang. (We had to wait our turn.)

Mr Macduff, an antique Maths teach from the Cairngorms

winked in her direction

when she made the sign of the cross. (Amen.)

Blushing, blessed, she sat beside the Head.

Carmela de Maidstone (her name

in the nunnery): a little old lady,

born in Belfast, with pale-blue eyes

and a cleft lip. She wielded an infamous hazelwood walking stick;

suggested I claim St Christopher,

the Patron Saint of Travellers,

as my saint's name. But days before I

knelt there at the altar

she threw off her wimple (her heavy headpiece)

and renounced her vow of celibacy.

On a cruise ship with Mr Macduff

she sailed to the sensuous Costa di Amalfi.

Rumour has it the pair retired in a fury of red wine.

He fed her oysters, olives, Arancini balls.

He asked her to spit on it,

the dock leaf; a nettle had stung his thigh

while they skipped and chortled from Salerno,

through Elysium fields, to Rome.

Hand in withered hand, they descended dusty steps

into the Vatican's catacombs.

Aaron Lembo’s debut pamphlet It’s All Gone Don Juan was published by erbacce- press (2020). He has taught English in Spain, China and Vietnam. Currently, he lives and teaches in London.

1 Kommentar

17. Dez. 2022

Wonderful imagery.

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