the insect (OR: Of many laudable qualities in the Irish Clergy)

i sneaked
into the
staffroom
to make
myself
a cup    of tea
when a visiting priest
from behind
wrapped his arms
around me

he asked if i was
well behaved

i thought for a moment

thought about
splashing
his face
with the
now-boiled water
—bubbling blisters
to house the crushed capillaries
of his pinkened cheeks and nose

he’d pushed
himself
too close

nearly an adult
shy but stubborn
—i could look after myself

(___ _____ ______?)

a backwards elbow
a dipped shoulder
a wriggle free

i stared at him
i said nothing

i
poured
the milk
into my tea

my face was red
with anger

and his was red
with lust
or shame

he bowed
his head

he backed
away

he
knew
he
was
an
in-
se-
ct


by Dylan Brennan 

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