Madrid En Mayo

          I see San Isidro fireworks
          through my bedroom window.
          I sit alone
          Soda pop fizzes.
          I flick off the light
          as quickly as I can.
          A neon shock of
          dandelion seeds blow away
          in the Mediterranean.

          I’d decided to decline invitation to Retiro
          I decide to open the window.

          Something I’ve never done at night
          in my dark room.
          As I turn the latch the city
          holds her breath.
          She doesn’t know
          what I will say.
          I look
          at the fire haze in the sky
          ten minutes pass by
          before I close
          the window
          and turn on the light.


       Carpeted church floor
       where mold grew from
       left over moisture.

       That carpet
         K  n  e  e  s.

       Underneath our fingernails



       scraped off the side
       of altar candles
       at the end of service.

       My sister took first plunge
       tip-of-finger dipping
       into satisfying

       I, one of few
       who knew how to receive
       the body
       with cupped palms

       —Thanks be to God!—

       followed Benediction
       and sister
       immediately to the kitchen
       opened the round, silver
       juice tray
       with holiest abandon

       and tipped back burgundy
       Welch’s shots
       like a barkeep’s daughter.

Madelyn Parker as born and raised in Oklahoma. Her work appears in The Scarab, and The Red Earth Review. She has previously interned at Mongrel Empire Press, and will graduate from Oklahoma City University with a BA in English in 2019.