by Whitney Rios-Ross
Heavenly Father, I make of myself
an offering. My God—or demon,
I don’t much care—let me call you
Lord and obey. Scrape me clean and hollow.
Tell me what will perish and what will
keep. I have no interest in why,
only don’t let me get it wrong.
Enslave me to your unflinching clarity.
And I beg of you, tempt me with all
but what I need. Anoint my head
with inflammable oil and mark my days
decent enough. May you overpower
but not consume. Otherwise, if all
blood will one day freeze and lungs
collapse, drain and gag me early.
Let us call that love.
WHITNEY RIO-ROSS is the author of the chapbook Birthmarks (Wipf & Stock) and poetry editor of Fare Forward. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in New South, Presence Journal, Earth & Altar, Relief Journal, and elsewhere. She lives with her husband in Nashville, TN.
Photo: “Wax Lamps” by Denish C