Prayer for Object of Obsession

Leslie Marie Aguilar


Lord, forgive me. I’ve done it again. I killed
my father. You see, this time it was a helicopter

blade. It just came down & around his head.
There wasn’t much blood, just bone. I’m sorry.

Last night, before I killed my father, I killed
my mother. I baked a triple tiered chocolate

cake & fed it to her, with a sugared spoon, until
her feet fell off. I was afraid to reattach them.

Do you already know? About the boy I killed
yesterday? Yes, the same one I kill every day.

It was worse this time. I was in the kitchen
cubing potatoes for dinner. The little red ones,

his favorite. See, the bread knife just slipped
right out of my hand & into his bear-like chest.

It was only fair. I asked him, have you ever loved
something so much you wanted to squeeze it to death?

He said no. I tried to show him. I should have
known better. But that’s a lie. You see, I’m tired.

I didn’t kill my father. I spent an hour at my desk
capping & uncapping a pen instead. He lived.

I didn’t kill my mother, either. I counted the tiles
of linoleum in my kitchen until my hunger left.

I didn’t even kill the boy who loves the red potatoes.
Instead, I ritualized his latest death. I obsessed over

how to protect those I love without killing them
in thoughts, in prayers, in unraveling words.[/paper]

Leslie Marie Aguilar was born and raised in Abilene, Texas. She has served as the Poetry Editor of Harbinger Journal of Literature and Art and is the current Web Editor of Indiana Review. She is also the recipient of a National Society of Arts and Letters Literature Award. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Bellingham Review, Hotel Amerika, Iron Horse Literary Journal, Ninth Letter, Rattle, Spillway, and The Más Tequila Review among others. She is currently an MFA candidate at Indiana University.

You’ll find biographies for all contributors to Phoebe 43.2 here. 

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