The coffee pot might be proof of Purgatory because
every morning, it shakes with Parkinson’s and indigestion,
and the terrible thing is, it won’t let me be its mother.
I can’t kiss its forehead or offer it pills.

As I wait, I twist my ring back, forth
because the only rosary I own is the glow-in-the-dark kind,
and it lies in a heap on the nightstand. Just in case.

I drip, in my bathrobe, with my hair curling itself dry.
My lopped-off fingernails, my chapping lips. I drip.

But the tendons that bind my neck to my shoulder
are taut like strings on a violin.
They have been played by tongue and by teeth.

Does this waiting purify me,
or make me holy?
Does it make me ready to receive new life?

The coffee seeps through the filter,
unstaunched. Slowly, the pot fills itself,
and when it is full, my cup is still in a pile in the sink,
half-drowned in the stale water.

Nadia Arioli is the editor in chief of Thimble Literary Magazine. A three-time nominee for Best of the Net, Arioli’s poetry can be found in Cider Press Review, Rust + Moth, McNeese Review, and elsewhere. Essays have been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart and can be found in Hunger Mountain and elsewhere.