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More lonely than I really want to be
I find your name written on the back of
my hand where I used to write the names of
boys that I loved and wanted near me,
the letters thick & slick with Sharpie ink
scrawled and awkward on my thin hand skin.
Of all the girls in class you wouldn’t think
I’d be the one to like boys so much and sin,
to be full of want for their attention,
but I was. It wasn’t due to a lack
of love at home. I had sisters, a million
cousins, a Mom I loved who loved me back.
Even then it was you that I craved,
your name on my hand, in my heart engraved.

Photo by Nihal Demirci Erenay on Unsplash

Angela Alaimo O'Donnell

Angela Alaimo O’Donnell, PhD is a professor, poet, and writer at Fordham University in New York City and serves as Associate Director of Fordham’s Curran Center for American Catholic Studies. Her publications include two chapbooks and seven collections of poems, most recently, Andalusian Hours (Paraclete 2020), a collection of 101 poems that channel the voice of Flannery O’Connor, and Love in the Time of Coronavirus: A Pandemic Pilgrimage (Paraclete 2021).  O’Donnell has published a prize-winning memoir, Mortal Blessings (Ave Maria 2014) and a book of hours based on the practical theology of Flannery O’Connor, The Province of Joy (Paraclete 2012). Her biography Flannery O’Connor: Fiction Fired by Faith  (Liturgical Press 2015) was awarded first prize for excellence in publishing from The Association of Catholic Publishers.  Her critical book on Flannery O’Connor Radical Ambivalence: Race in Flannery O’Connor was published by Fordham University Press in 2020.  O’Donnell’s most recent manuscript, Holy Land, won the Paraclete Poetry Prize 2021 and will be published in Fall of 2022.