Ann Ward




dip a communion wafer in chef boyardee

paint one fingernail blue &

blame it on the slapping of the screen door

take a twenty in exchange for

a cold bath with a red faced man

a crowd of praise for your borrowed t shirt

fall down when the threaded hands tell your back they’re ready

they’ve got you

limp your torso into their hot god hands

turn on your side

make your face a blank bliss they’ll bless and walk away from

walk away from it

get back to the darkness

your nose to a pew

breathing the vintage stain

your fingers following black maps in blue hymnals

your butt against a velvet stool

your mother’s voice in tongues

let two white wasps



fly capable to your chest

and give the signal


ANN WARD is a writer, editor and teacher. Her work has appeared most recently in No Tokens, This Magazine, Minola Review, Powder Keg, and Washington Square Review. Originally from Kingston, Ontario, Ann has an MFA in Fiction from UMass Amherst and teaches at Bard Microcollege Holyoke, a college for women whose education has been interrupted by pregnancy, parenting, and systemic issues.