Every Apparition by Lake Vargas

La Virgen de Guadalupe aligns
her spine to the cold white domino
of our refrigerator. As always,

her calluses are clasped together.
My spatula noses at the fried egg.
You’re brushing your teeth, jostling

froth before the bathroom mirror.
A novela unfurls on the television:
a woman swoons, cotton-swathed

arms ready to catch her. Once, you
wrapped your hand around my neck,
fingers warping across my throat.

The open door stood behind us,
a mouth gaping into the evening.
The rosary in the hallway waved,

beads knocking against plaster,
and string invisible, as nothing has
been pressed to light. All because

when I sent you for milk, you just
gazed across cracked gravel like you
were in a Western, sighting horses.

But have you seen roadkill like this?
An opossum’s fur zippered open,
its tongue dangling an inch above

the road? I close my eyes and take
this shadow back into myself. Let her
blacken my insides again and again.

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