The night that gran drank her perm money
she came down when everyone else was in bed
and laid her arms along the kitchen counter,
to feel the coolness, she said,
like a marble altar.
She had often thought during mass
of what it would be like
to lie flat on the altar,
naked to the Lord,
nothing between them but a nave of saints
that would shatter in mosaic when he came.
And why the surprise? she said.
Are you not of me as much
when you move your lover in your bed
as when looking back
you make of this night
my permanent wave?