portion of the artwork for Justin Long-Moton's poetry
Sometimes all it takes is FAITH
Justin Long-Moton

There’s a woman 3 decades
Away from me, at the other end of the train
Preaching her skin
Holy Ghost numbing her breath
Walks with an impending fever in stride
Graceful down the cart

Now 2 decades
Adjacent to a drunkard, body sprawled
Along the hard seats
The opening doors steal my attention
For a moment
I’m back at her, transfigured
Cloaked in a winter’s white wedding dress
Palms gripping the stems of wilted roses
Face a canvas for mascara watercolor
I see a bride to be left, waiting at the altar—
Her groom missing
(Slouches in his barstool, orders one more round)

Now younger than me
A man with irises dyed in thorns
Throws a wink at a daughter
A hard stare strips her matchstick

Woman pigtails and Sunday dress
Twirling a cracked smile
Just 4 years old
Trying to convert the train
Hands cupped, around her father’s finger prints
Peeled them the night before from inner thighs

Today, she stands within inches of me
“Son, look around, you don’t have to
end up like them”

(Offers me Jesus’ business cards)
“Look at what he’s done for me”

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 36 | Spring 2012