Miss Venus is in the back somewhere
preening like a bright-faced toucan
checking her plumes twice over.
Two miles south, the church sits still,
a tall white candle on a Sunday night.
I press them front-to-front as two fresh
watercolors: feather-clad queens
serving coffee in the fellowship hall,
ladies with big hats laughing inside
of a cage, a whole congregation
lip-syncing to Aretha’s “I Say a Little
Prayer for You.”
Miss Venus appears
from behind a black curtain. Our father,
who art in sequins, hallowed be thy
breasts. I clutch a few dollars the way
I once held my offering, but this time
I’m not seven, asking why God needs
money. She tucks them in a crimson corset,
singles me out with two doting biceps.
All to Venus, I surrender, all to Her,
I freely give.