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Against Doubt and Hesitation

in U.S. by

Judas is my lucky number, so I place my bets on red 13.
My prayers are safely tucked up in the hotel room safe;
Catechisms echo through slot machines. I believe in one –
God does not live here, he has let weeds of women
with hearts of snares and nets spring from this desert –
I watch them drink mojitos through a spiral straw
and everything tastes of sin.

I do not worship like them. For years I have been building
an ark of risk, this precious boat amidst burning sands,
bending planks with my clasped hands before each flood
begins. I touch the dollar bill in my bra – feel the warmth
of its green branch plucked from a dove’s unwitting mouth.
Jesus loved the sinner. I kiss his bloodied, open palms before
I roll the dice.

 


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Olga Dermott-Bond is originally from Northern Ireland. A former Warwick Poet Laureate, she has had poetry and flash fiction published in a range of magazines including Rattle Magazine, Magma, Under the Radar, Ink Sweat and Tears, The Interpreter’s House and Paper Swans. She was one of the winners of the 2018 BBC Proms poetry competition and was a shortlisted poet in The Poetry’s School “Primers” competition. She is a teacher and has two daughters.

Image via Flickr.