“saint angela”

Theo Francis



a mule and buggy and its driver drive behind a cop car

the driver’s in a purple suit and matching hat and has a single flower in his buttonhole

the mule has a bouquet of violets in its collar

the buggy is also purple, and says “the rollin’ 20s” on the side panel

the cop car is a black and white crown vic, like cop cars everywhere are

where i come from, a black and white crown vic means a cop car

i think a black and white crown vic is basically the platonic ideal of a cop car

so i hide my spliff in my pack of cigarettes, on account of low-dose love and paranoia

i’m smoking on the front porch and watching traffic

i focus on the cop car and see that it’s actually a taxi, with “taxi” on the side panel

in this town, all the taxis look like cop cars

much to the detriment of unsuspecting front porch dwellers

it’s beyond me why anyone would drive a car that looks like a taxi that looks like a cop car

i’m relieved that it’s not a cop, and exhale the puff i’d been holding in

i’m high and i walk

down the street someone put out a row of mirrors against their fence

and wrote “INSTANT PORTRAITS $20” on a sign

it’s pretty funny

i hope they don’t catch me giggling and charge me

i feel like i only giggle when i’m under the influence

if they were to charge me for anything, it should be for the act of giggling

in someone’s yard a brass band plays “just a closer walk with thee”

it makes me want to sit down for a bit, but i can’t find a seat

around the corner, a rooster crows

somebody close to the people in the yard probably died recently

there’s a horse tied to a stake in someone else’s yard

it’s more of a lot, a grassy lot with a random horse grazing

it’s louisiana derby day too

i text a friend who’s a degenerate gambler and he says it’s a good omen

on an old brick wall some blessed soul has written

“i want you to be adored as much as you were destroyed”

i’m thinking, that’s pretty good, it must the album title of a local noise band

but later, much later, when i get home, i look it up

it’s actually a line from the diary of a polish woman named angela, in reference to jesus christ

angela helped POWs and wounded soldiers during WWI

angela died young and sick and homeless, but they beatified her in 1991

it reminds me of another thing i saw that afternoon

a toddler was wearing a t-shirt that said “JESUS IS MY SUPERHERO”

at the time, it was merely ridiculous, but now

it seems like a direct affront to the goodness of saint angela

sorry, i just can’t imagine the pope beatifying some kid in a t-shirt


Theo Francis drives an 89 Olds 98. He is working on a manuscript of poems about scams. You can reach him at acornfetish@gmail.com.