Two Poems by Linda M. Crate

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy

church mouse

in a church i was pressed against a
wall by my lover,
and all i could think was this was

in a place where there is modesty
prayers and songs and praises
given to God and heaven
here is not a place
for all that;

but he knows all my weaknesses and
my knees buckle as i turn my
almost in a silent prayer that someone
will come running down the corridor
and this will be stopped
i am not strong enough to say no —

because i loved him
didn't want to disappoint
that word will never make it from my mouth
it's swallowed by my tongue
as i wax and wan inward upon my self
collapsing upon my own flame

but aren't we supposed to burn outward and not inward?

when it ends
my heart feels relief,
and i look to the heavens with a smile;
but something inside of me trembles
did i fall prey to temptation and will the heavens
reject me?

i weep,
but he doesn't see why;
sometimes a pilgrimage is only a matter
of seconds spent in a church.


a question of faith

hold onto your faith
and lose your sexuality
because purity cannot be
housed in the impure

i remember
being the last one to get
sexual innuendos in high school
and elementary
of being completely innocent of
the ways of the world and trusting
people i ought not have

but i remember
that your first love was meant to be holy trinity
and you were meant to love Him
more than anyone else;

i lost my virginity to a preacher's son
what does that say about me?

if God is only for the Holy
then none of us need apply
we're all imperfect, all flawed and yet
i think we can still let the light reflect and refract in
and through us;
i think the church has it all wrong—

sometimes broken glass
can be rearranged
in a way that is beautiful,
and sometimes mistakes can teach us
why we need grace.

Photo of Linda M. Crate

Photo of Linda M. Crate

Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. Recently her two chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press - June 2013) and Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon - January 2014) were published. She is the author of the Magic Series. The first of this series, Blood & Magic, was published March 2015 and the second, Dragons & Magic, was published October 2015. Her third collection of poetry Sing Your Own Song is forthcoming through Barometric Pressures Series.