Tiny, gold crucifixes dangle from the earlobes
of a child who recites faithless,
yet faintly fearful prayers.
Shell-shocked, white-haired child.
Just as sleep tugs at the heels of her feet,
she kicks it back and pulls her never-dreaming soul
away from its heavy elixir.
“Oh, Wailing woman, my patron saint,
Bless me with your shrieking gift.
Grant me permission to break plates,
to burst my eardrums.
My lungs aren’t big enough
and I wish to scream.”