Great Expectations

Elizabeth Dolan

It was always up to us, Sister said
lauding eleven-year-old Beata Maria Goretti
slashed dead rather than surrender her purity.

As if we who wanted to be good
could guard the locks stemming floods
which would engulf us all.

On the Lexington Avenue Local
memorizing amo, amas, amat,
while hugging steel poles,
we were crushed by fine-suited gents
who sought out trim navy blue virgins,
our elbows a pointless defense as trains
undulated to rhythms of the morning rush.

And how could we be expected to keep saying no
as our blue-tied reflection careened
through shadowy tunnels into Manhattan
when even Joltiní Joe, La Bella Figura,
hooked up with Marilyn who never said no,
her vanilla skirt billowing like a parachute
pulling her towards heaven.



Elizabeth Dolan's first poetry collection, They Abide, was nominated for The Robert McGovern Prize, Ashland University. Her second, Liz Dolanís first poetry collection, They Abide, was nominated for The Robert McGovern Prize, Ashland University. Her second, A Secret of Long Life, nominated for a Pushcart, has been published by Cave Moon Press. A nine-time Pushcart nominee and winner of Best of the Web, she was a finalist for Best of the Net 2014. She won The Nassau Prize for Nonfiction, 2011 and the same prize for fiction, 2015., nominated for a Pushcart, has been published by Cave Moon Press. A nine-time Pushcart nominee and winner of Best of the Web, she was a finalist for Best of the Net 2014. She won The Nassau Prize for Nonfiction, 2011 and the same prize for fiction, 2015.


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