The Church of Shame
By Ken Haas    

My ex used to call it the Walk of Shame.

That Sunday jaunt following the 10 a.m. drop-off

in black sheath dress, kitten heels and pearl sautoir

across the cracked driveway, up the tiled steps,

through the arched lobby, assayed by her co-op neighbors

exiting with golf clubs and egg-mouthed kids,

or Mrs. Dobbins, come down in kimono

to collect the New York Times,

treat my lover to the official once-over,

ask her wryly how church was this morning.

And why not imagine a reverenced place

for her to gather the morning after            

with the flame-haired dental hygienist

in slit skirt, lace cheekies and Roman-strap stilettos

fondling a rosary to salve the rug burn on her sacrum,

the mad mother of twins

in backless v-neck, fishnets and half-sleeve tattoo,

taking the sacrament through lips

that with gusto last night let trespass the salty infidel,

the plus-sized cellist,

gem-studded ear-cuff, fresh Brazilian

and bikini bra teasing areolas still tender

from being sucked like milkshake straws,

who stands to speak the tale of The Garden,

where the man sidles up in a fig leaf

and amused Eve says if I’m going to wear anything

it will be made of snakeskin, lush feathers

and thread spun from worms

that have ravished the trees of heaven,

but first let’s lie together one more time

right here under the brightening sky,

to which Adam sighs

I think it’s time to take you home.