Poems of the Week

Ten Ways to Reconcile

Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day, 2024

by Ilana Baer

Bring bonbons to the desert; later leisure
will prove that God made chocolate truffles sweet.
At dinner with your date, refuse to eat.
Contest the line dividing guilt and pleasure.
Pour glitter on your head; lament its excess.
Attend the Mass to help your pewmates flirt.
Write sonnets and love letters in the dirt
and sign with not your name, or Os, just Xs.
Become your own admirer, then repent.
Let passion make you pious; saints will swoon.
Distribute flowers every day of Lent.
Put ashes on whatever you adore:
the teddy bear, the cards, the pink balloon
now sinking to the dusty kitchen floor.