The Nuns Are Awake
I see six nuns dance like a royal flush in a game of cards.
Heads poking forth from the linen, like new born babies
Of duty without carriage discrimination.
God? Please let these women loosen their leather boots?
Let the wind undress their arms, skirts, and let it bounce
Their prideful chains?
They move like gills of a fish opening and closing.
Malfunctioning in receiving air.
There they go, my dark girls holding matches.
Dresses puffed and lighter than flying whales.
They nod their fleshy pink heads aside, like an old-fashioned swimmer’s
Side stroke. Each mouth open, round, and as grateful
As a bowl of warm milk.
They breathe together, as the fish do, singing without a sound.
Swaying all day in the current of the savior proclaiming,
“I have seen! I have seen…”
All day long they are in love with water, with water in air.
Naked as fish, as the whale, as the flying whales, and always awake.
And there they go, my dark girls,
The color of dirty forks and unwraapped caramels.
The color of prayers written on chalk boards.
The warmth of alligators and delusional ice cream afternoons.
*adapted from poetry by Anne Sexton