Nicole led me into a church that stood taller than the rest of the city –
into an ambush by an army of Baptists. They charged
with whitewashed smiles and gentlemanly hands –
threw me into a gauntlet where I met the entire congregation
but learned none of their names. Nicole saw the grind of my teeth
and pulled me free – held me to her side. I hid behind her back,
my head beneath her bosom. “I’m here for you,” she said.
Five silk stems rested in my hair and brushed the anxiety out of my head.
The wine from her tongue chilled my nerves – numbed their throb.
Inquisitive eyes that probed each movement shut and held
onto her three words: “I love you.” I followed her through oak pews
across the velvet carpet into the baptismal pool and dived inside.
I resurfaced with a starlit smile seen by nobody. They had all gone home
to watch the Super Bowl. The angel who lured me here
had flown away on plastic wings. Her mission accomplished
to lure me in, she went into town to hunt again. And I floated here
alone, waited for a voice to pull me out of this pit,
into the warmth I felt glowing from Nicole’s breasts
but only the vibrations of the ice water touched my ears.
Too numb to swim forward or backward, left or right,
my head became a buoy in a cold cold ocean with no shore
in sight for miles. No need to reach for land. It was as cold
out there anyway. Instead, I dove deeper into the liquid ice
and waited for my eyes to explode like two old stars.