I met Judas at a roof party in late October. The Ghost had warned me about the devil in the form of a man too charming to deny. Traitor. He was drinking pumpkin ale, wearing short sleeves and a scarf knit by his boyfriend, eyes lined with gold, lips wine purple. He laughed too much and left a stain on my cheek when he kissed me. The cigarette dangling between his fingers never burned out.
I stumbled home with the Magdalene’s hand in mine. A man in a green pickup truck blared his horn as we crossed the street, rolled his window down to tell us what he thought of our bodies. Ladies. His words echoed in the red mist and my heart blistered inside my bound chest as I turned the other way. Mary spat blood, swore to God she would kill him. My voice caught in my raw throat as I reminded her that my father is the only one who gives and takes.
I met with my mother outside of temple in the green glow of the April afternoon. Her frowning eyes lingered on the hair cropped close to my head, the swell of my chest protruding defiantly under my loose t-shirt no matter how I hunched my shoulders to hide it. There was so much I knew, so much she did not understand. I must go about my father’s business. I scribbled John’s address on her hand and watched the black ink bleed along the creases in her skin.
When my phone rang on Thursday the centers of my palms began to itch. The call came from my father who shaped me in his image, my father who doesn’t make mistakes. He said that I had to come home soon. I sat on the fire escape with a glass of whiskey and wept as the stars swirled indifferently above. When the world awoke around me in warm honey hues I let the glass shatter on the pavement. Let this cup pass from me. Take it. Take it, please. I’m not ready to go.
When my phone rang on Thursday the centers of my palms began to itch.