Counting down the beads of
a worn, wooden rosary; the
tangible reminder of the
faith of Our Father,
who art in Heaven.

Reciting each Hail Mary was
a verbal flagellation, the torn
flesh of my grief dropped in
dripping, bloody strips;
soaked by my own tears.

I am dragged down by
the reality of your
absence, your
loss, your

by Erik Shinker