from “The Virgin Chronicles”

A different kind
of foolish virgin,
I share my kerosene;
but I’m a girl
who likes a gamble.
There’s no knowing when
the groom arrives or whether
forgiveness will cover the loss
of a few precious drops.
But I can predict the ending
of five virgins
on a midnight hitchhike
in this one-donkey town.
So I’ll take a chance
on benevolence;
even Deuteronomy
says to give—
which provides me
an alibi
if it comes to that.
The truth is, this
contract needs revising.
If we were wise, we’d unionize:
Daughters of the Law
of Chastity Local 25113.
I’d demand consistency
in commandments
or a transfer
to that prodigal son; I want to live
by laws more golden
than greed—or else parade
my temple-body on a picket line,
howl revolution
until all ten lamps burn halfway full.

Copyright 2006,  Nicole J. Hardy

Nicole J. Hardy is a former high school teacher, concierge, stadium peanut-chucker, bartender, and tour guide. She holds an MFA from Bennington College and currently lives in the Seattle area where she works as a waitress. Her poetry has been published in MARGIE: The American Journal of Poetry and in The DMQ Review.


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