In Praise of Mediocre Gods

L. Callon

September 9, 2022


Aspirations of sainthood
may be attainable.
Adopt these tarnished idols and worship them,
Keep faith.
Mistake them for the ancient ones,
too blind to see their milk teeth
stained by their own sacramental wine,
likewise charmed by the croaking
of their tuneless hymns.
Sin without hesitation
or fear of reproach,
for these gods are
too languorous to be punitive.
Anoint yourself with ink
and brown liquor
and martyr yourself with paper cuts
and your own sharp tongue.
Adorn your altars
with loose change
and cigarette butts.
Become nocturnal
and pore over gospels
while barricaded by citadels
of your half-read books.
Beg me to abandon
my own sacred temple
while evangelizing your own
believing me unholy.

L. Callon (she/her) is a Mississippi native, but has called New Orleans home for over a decade. She manages a local independent bookstore and at her kindergarten graduation was awarded the “Tallest Tale Award” for her creative spins on the truth. Her work has appeared in the Tilted House Review and Nurture: A Literary Journal. Her poem “Reverie” was featured as a broadsheet by Lucky Bean Press. IG: @actually_its_leeanna