As A Fire Blazes in The Notre-Dame Cathedral
I mourn what is in its path.
This congregation full of wax museum statues, and God still wants us
kneeling. He’s burned part of the church down, which is to say
a part of us. Imagine if we, too, fell—fell under the spell of the light
coming from his grapevine arms, through his fingernails acting as
the matches we light on Advent wreathes. Even the burned
would get haloes around their heads. Our ghosts, bouncing off walls
made from sterile ash to ash to the ash we haven’t claimed yet.
It's not every day that Our Lady burns, says a père to his son
baptized, now, by fire. You are an artifact. I shall shove you away
before your stained-glass eyes shatter in front of my own.
OTTAVIA PALUCH is a disabled high school student who lives in Ontario, Canada. A Gigantic Sequins Teen Sequin in 2018, her work is published or forthcoming in Four Way Review, Kissing Dynamite, Room Magazine, Alexandria Quarterly, and Ghost City Review, among other places. Paluch has studied poetry under Jessica Lynn Suchon during the 2019 Adroit Journal Summer Mentorship Program, as well as under Matt Mitchell during Flypaper Lit’s 2020 workshop on poetic forms.