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Miss Venus is in the back somewhere
preening like a bright-faced toucan
checking her plumes twice over.
Two miles south, the church sits still,
a tall white candle on a Sunday night.
I press them front-to-front as two fresh
watercolors: feather-clad queens
serving coffee in the fellowship hall,
ladies with big hats laughing inside
of a cage, a whole congregation
lip-syncing to Aretha's "I Say a Little
Prayer for You."

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Miss Venus appears
from behind a black curtain. Our father,
who art in sequins, hallowed be thy
breasts. I clutch a few dollars the way
I once held my offering, but this time
I'm not seven, asking why God needs
money. She tucks them in a crimson corset,
singles me out with two doting biceps.
All to Venus, I surrender, all to Her,
I freely give.

What the hell is a Scalawag?

Brit Blalock

Brit Blalock grew up on a small island along the Alabama Gulf Coast. She holds an MFA from NYU and currently resides in Birmingham, AL. She is a recent graduate of the Emerge Alabama program, a community organizer, and the campaign manager for a progressive statewide candidate. Brit is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Her work has appeared in publications like Booth, Blood Orange Review, Sibling Rivalry Press, and more.