Saint Monica Burns It Down

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Saint Monica Burns It Down

Saint Monica Burns It Down

Saint Monica is a very modern woman in Mary Biddinger’s book of poems.

"Saint Monica Burns It Down" by Mary Biddinger

It wasn’t her house, but she would strip
it of its bricks if she could, imagining
all of the hair and sesame oil and lye
inside after she had finished. Rooms

where he slipped from pilled flannel
sheets to creep back into her window
with a warm Budweiser in each pocket,
as if he’d never even left. His two terriers

sputtering like motorbike engines through
the night, quiet in his absence, holed up
in ruts beneath the shed. She heard his
feet on the mulch outside, reflections

of his white undershirt illuminating
the window frame. He did not know
there were glass shavings on the ledge,
seeds from the Habanero she coaxed into

unimaginable lengths and heat. When he
landed in the holly bushes he was blind.
Across town, the other woman sipped
cordial by the light of a gas stove.

"Saint Monica Burns It Down" by Mary Biddinger from Saint Monica. Black Lawrence Press, 2011. Used with permission of the author.
Mary Biddinger’s most recent poetry collection is O Holy Insurgency (Black Lawrence Press, 2013), and A Sunny Place With Adequate Water is forthcoming in May from Black Lawrence Press. She teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Akron and edits the Akron Series in Poetry and Barn Owl Review.