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These small blasphemies
by Elizabeth McLaren

To his altar on the first day she brought
glances half-lashed, alluring,
and then later her perfume 
dancing behind her, heels clicking

Her company was next, and 

the coffee was more bitter and made with as 

much conviction as the conversation 

she offered

She hadn't meant to brush fingertips so soon, 

but when he passed her the dinner- 

plate she had rose-coloured
nails as an oblation

Silently declared herself with onetwo straps 

slipping from pale shoulders shifting 

under his hands (her body, her blush) and 

lips wet with gifted ambrosia

She wouldn't yet devote her heart, 

(having experienced the 

capriciousness of idols past)
but waited in hope for a sign of faith returned.

He reasoned through her scepticism by counting
rosary vertebrae in half-light with head bowed, 

lips moving downwards as in prayer, until she acquiesced

to that which could be stated for the first time once
and proved


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