Praying the rosary had never brought her peace: she was prone to daydreams and distractions, even as a tiny kneesocked Catholic schoolgirl. She’d repeat the prayers she knew by heart until the words elided and lost meaning, until they morphed into pop song lyrics or to-do lists. She’d abandoned the ritual years ago, but now her life with her husband had become rote in the same way.

     Our Husband who Art in Habit, give us this day:

  • a chaste kiss before he gets out of bed to brush his teeth (he hates morning breath)
  • a shower with the door locked
  • shirt and tie
  • heavy aftershave
  • dollop of hair gel
  • another chaste kiss to her forehead
  • buttered toast and black coffee
  • the click of the door

     Amen.

     She’d like to be caught off-guard by a morning fuck, flowers that aren’t from the grocery store, a heated argument, his face between her legs.

    After he leaves for the day, she languishes in bed another hour, thinking of someone else, a face from her past, and she touches herself and dreams of the kiss of a man who tastes like sleep, who tastes like her.

     On Saturday, I’ll go to confession, she thinks—every week—and she never does.

 

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Amanda Miska lives and writes in Northern Virginia. Her work has been featured in Whiskey Paper, Buffalo Almanack, CHEAP POP, jmww, The Collapsar, Storychord, Five Quarterly, Cartridge Lit, Cactus Heart, Pea River Journal, Counterexample Poetics, and elsewhere. She is the fiction curator at Luna Luna Magazine. You can find her on Twitter at @akmiska.