chapter
4 Pages

Hail Mary

She is stone and I love her. She is plastic made to look like wood and the circle of her halo is missing a piece from when she fell off a shelf too high and I couldn’t catch her. She is a magnet found outside the deli where he works and she reminds him of me. She is a candle burning unattended. I sloshed her green wax on the edge of the sheets and down the box spring of the bed when I extinguished her. She is a sticker he paid three quarters for in September, and saved until Christmas to give to me. She is ceramic, fist sized, the color and texture of my grandmother’s skin when I was seven years old who gave her to my mother when she died and so she is an ancestor. She is paper: cut out, pasted, acrylic painted, and decoupaged to a table. She is underneath glass. She is an accident streaked across the side of an office building on Del Mar Drive. She is graffiti: a miracle above the bodega. She is a prayer I have said more times than my own name, some parts impulse, some parts a memory that has no other words. She is raised metal praying under an arc of stars and I have pushed her against my palm so hard she has left a mark on my hand that’s still there.