Sacrifice

I was a lesbian when he met me

but I hadn’t made love to any girls yet

 

—didn’t know I wanted to

make love to any girls yet—

 

because I’d been told that that love

would make me burn in hell

 

and I was a good girl

—loved my Jesus—

 

so a good girl like me,

so good at sacrifice,

 

couldn’t possibly be in love with those

side-swept, black-brown bangs,

 

irreverent freckles and earphones

jammed above perfect lobes—

 

I just admired her.

And even Jesus would approve

 

of how much attention

I paid to that pageboy haircut,

 

that witty retort, the newspaper ink on

her fingers,

 

how angry I was that

her boyfriend wasn’t good enough for her,

 

how in a moment of weakness I thought

that I could do a better job.


A Georgia native, ABIGAIL PATTERSON has been an active participant in the Athens poetry scene, reading at local venues and for the University of Georgia’s radio station WUOG. She received her MA in Professional Writing from Kennesaw State University and lives in Fort Collins, Colorado with her husband and daughter.