For I Have Sinned ~ Tina Schumann


It has been five hundred days,

countless meals and many mountain tops

since my last confession.

            I have lusted in my heart

for the woman who sells me my morning coffee.

It’s just the way she stands sometimes

with her back to me and her waist turned just so.

I’d like to take her blond cheek into the bed of my palm,

tell her what a gift she is; she of the tender smile,

she of the warm offerings.

            I have coveted my neighbor’s garden.

I love it and I don’t love it; the symmetry of it all,

the telltale heap of compost that mocks me

from the parking strip, every Tube Rose

preening in the sun, the Gerbera Daisies bobbing

on their brainless stems and the way she idles at the edge

of beds in her drab green Wellingtons. The serious planning

of grace written all over her face.

            Gluttony can’t be helped.

We’ve been over this. We’ve covered my inability

to just say no. Like when I packed my suitcases

full of Balsamico and Grappa, what I didn’t tell you

is that for days before I had eaten truffles

at every meal. I let their heady fungalness permeate.

I let each white sliver melt

on my tongue like the body of Christ.

            And there are hours of sloth

like baptisms of guilt. Submerge me,

cover me I say, I am a sucker

for the easy move, the natural incline,

any tripping toward entropy. It’s no use.

            I know what you’ll prescribe.

I found nine Rosaries in my mother’s bedroom

after she died. Look at her now.

What a set-up, this propensity

            toward failings.

Lord thy name is entrapment.

Let’s get on with it

For God’s sake –

Bless me.