11:58 pm, our lady of the broken cup – joshua espitia

our lady

Church lets in around midnight
Sunday heading into Monday
to the bells of clanging dishes
and music too loud coming from
open kitchens where high dropouts
laugh, yell, and sling runny eggs
for masses of people dying for
an opiate to soothe minds lingering
on things lost and opportunities
missed while they sit in red vinyl
booths lighted by window sign
promises that they’re welcome,
24/7, for the best food in town,
the flickering pink neon casting
cold halos around heads bowed
over black coffee praying that this
time they’ll get that job or win on
that scratch off ticket, or maybe
tonight he won’t be filthy drunk
looking for love or blood or both,
or she’ll walk through the front
door and sit down with him and
everything will be like it used to

They leave their offerings in wads
of ones folded around loose change
for white-shirted, chain-smoking
angels to carry home for the laundry

SBGS December

Joshua Espitia is a former managing editor of The Windward Review literary journal. He has received Texas Intercollegiate Press Association and Haas writing awards for his short fiction and has twice been a panelist at the People’s Poetry Festival. Currently he lives in Corpus Christi, Texas, where he writes bad comedy for the The Vent Daily and pays the bills as an ESL teacher.

Photo: Chris Liverani

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