With Mary. With God. With the Devil. With blood fever. Lately Mary came to him every night. Bathed in golden light. Sweet Mary, dripping love, dropping down with the wings of an angel as he lay on his small hard bed, Jesus on the cross behind him bleeding for his sinning. And he would pray to God. That she would go away. That she would come to stay. Flowing crow black hair. Raving raven eyes. Skin white clouds. Breasts secreting the milky blood of Christ.
As she floated down, a sister of mercy, sweet Mary, all over him. And he would pray to God to deliver him from evil, to help him resist temptation. But his God would be gone, and he could not resist. And she would whisper, “Forgive me Father, for I have sinned,” as she spread herself with her fingers and hovered over James, rigid as the rock of ages, the blossom of Mary so opening and he would be enveloped by the sheer drunken sin of it all.
And she would put her breast in his mouth, and he would drink the milky blood of Christ as she slid down, down, down his vein of sin a pounding pillar, the shaft of his Satan. And he would whisper, “Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.” And he would think to himself, O Jesus, save me, O Jesus, kill me. And she was like a cherub, the holy music of her filling him as he was filling her. Mary blanketed him like in holy snow.
And his hot love of God would shoot into her valley of death, the Devil lurking, smirking in the corner. And James would scream, “O Lord, why have you forsaken me?”And then woke up, soaking from the wetness of his nightmaredream sweaty and sticky salty unholy water boiling on his belly. And God was watching him, James could feel the shame aimed at his heart, and he would pray for forgiveness. And afterwards, to calm himself, he would say, It’s only a dream.
And now, here she was. Mary. In her flesh. In his booth. Inches away. So close James could smell her flower blooming, perfuming through him, strangleholding his soul. James had to punch himself hard in the thigh. You are nothing, you are a servant, you are a vessel of the Lord our God. A vessel of God. You are nothing but your sacred duty, James told himself. You are hear to minister. Hear confession and recommend penance.
“Forgive me Father, for I have sinned,” drifted from the darkness like a chariot of lightness, singing sweet and low, swinging him around her little finger. “What is your sin?” That is always the question, isn’t it? James thought. You are my sin. He’d never been anything but certain his whole life. He was the Whiz Kid Priest. That’s what all the papers said. Memorized the Bible by the age of ten. Already groomed to be a bishop, a cardinal maybe even. Audience with the Pope on his eighteenth birthday. Quoting verse and scripture, a greatest hits of the Good Book with the square jawed easy charm of Jack Kennedy back in the Camelot days, a poster boy for everything good about the church, a throwback to a happier time when priests weren’t predatory pedophiles and it didn’t matter if you had sex with Marilyn Monroe in the White House, as long as you didn’t do it on the Front Lawn. A face for everything good in the church
He loved the ritual of it, the pageantry of it, the hidden symbols and the rock hard unthinking certainty, the blind obedience of it all, from before he could even remember, making everyone around him so happy, his father, on his deathbed, pleading with him, James, the only son, the last hope, to be a priest, his mother so proud, beaming, telling everyone about her boy the Whiz Kid Priest. The pride of the neighborhood.
And it had been so easy. Until Mary. In his booth. Now. Smelling like sin itself. “Father, I have impure thoughts,” confessed Mary with a breathtaking piety. Impure thoughts. Just the words raced his pulse, her skin ivory, hair ink black, a black Mass, parting to let him in. James had to punch himself hard in the thigh. He wanted to run, hide. And he prayed to God, his God, to give him the strength to resist, to pass this test, this plague of locust, He was inflicting on pious Father James, the Whiz Kid Priest. And no one was there.
“What are your impure thoughts?” James asked, straining to keep the quiver out of his voice, not really wanting to know the answer, desperately wanting to know the answer. “Well, Father… I’m too embarrassed to talk about it…” Mary said shyly. “I’m your priest, Mary, I’m hear to listen and forgive, as a vessel of Christ out Lord and savior. We all have impure thoughts.” James said. If you only knew, he thought.
“Do you ever have impure thoughts Father?” asked Mary, and it shivered him cold and lit a fire in his hell, sending a white-hot shot of juice jumping through him jumping under the hardening under his robe. O God please make it stop now. I have given You my life, please do this one thing for me. “Well, yes I do, of course I do. I’m not just a priest, I’m a…” But the word “man” stuck hard in his throat like a wafer with no wine chaser. “…that is to say, I confess my thoughts and sins and I pray to God to forgive me, and He does.” James said in his best Father James voice.
He had never confessed his sins of Mary. As if by not confessing them they weren’t really real. Maybe that’s why God is punishing me, that’s why God is testing me, for my mendacity, for believing I can hide anything from his omnipotence. Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. “Father, I have wicked, sinful thoughts, and… I touch myself Father, I can’t help it… I… give myself pleasure… I can’t stop, Father, and I don’t know what to do…” James was trying to control everything, slow it all down, cool it all off. No more visions. No more breasts of Mary. No more holy bloody milk. No more Cardinal red lips. Save me for I am lost. Find me, miserable wretch that I am. Lord I am blind. Please, let me see. Help me cast out Satan. Make me roar, “Jezebelle, be gone!”
James thought about the way she looked at him when she passed in line after Sunday service. The way she always managed to corner him somewhere, when she knew no one was around, and stand a little too close, until she was almost brushing up against him, so close that he couldn’t even follow the thread of the meaningless conversation they were having. So close that he had no choice but to breathe in the ripe juice of Mary. “I want to do things, Father. O God, I want to do terrible things…” Deliver me from evil. Is this evil? It must be. It is. Sin. The sins of the flesh. Her flesh. The flesh of Mary. “Sometimes,” whispered the sweet breath of Mary, “I want it so bad, I don’t care if I burn in a flame hotter than any human fire for ever and ever.”
Maybe I shouldn’t be a priest. Maybe I’m too weak. Maybe I’m just doing it so everyone will like me. So I won’t let my dead dad down. So I’ll be the Whiz Kid Priest. “Sometime I think God would understand. God understands love, doesn’t he Father?” Does He? Do You? I don’t know, James thought. I thought I knew. God is love. Isn’t He? Aren’t You? I thought I knew. I was so sure I did. Everything seemed so clear and simple. A sin of the flesh is a sin of the flesh is a sin of the flesh. Father James is not a sinner. Father James is a vessel of God. Devout. A son of the son of God, pure in His celestial mansion on earth.
I want Mary. More than I want God. Could that be true? Or is this Lucifer worming his way my Holy Soul? Making me want Mary’s sweetness. To eat her flesh. To drink her milky blood. James had to punch himself hard in the thigh. Her smell was everywhere. His dream flashed in front of him, the wings of the wet archangel Mary, the parting of her red sea, so rigid and dizzy under his robe.
“I’m touching myself right now, Father,” confessed Mary, “I’m touching myself, and I’m very… it feels very… Father, tell me, what should I do? Am I going to hell? I can’t help myself… Help me, please help me Father.” God was everywhere. God was nowhere. James felt God pumping hot blood under his robe. No, it’s Satan, this infernal damp dark underworld where black meets red. James wanted to die and go to Heaven, never having been tested. Please God, I’m ready. Take me now. Before Mary takes me. But God did not take James.
And he was aware she had left her side of the booth, could faintly hear her walking to him. Mary was coming. Or was it a flesh demon sent to suck out his soul. Run James, run, that little piece of rational brain that was left screamed. But he couldn’t run. Didn’t want to run. Wouldn’t run. The door slowly opened as the worm turned. And then there she was Mary. Floating in on the wings of a prayer. Deliver me now from evil, deliver me through the desert like Moses to the promised land. But where was the promised land? It was here in his confessional booth. It was her, so pure sweet and Mary. Please, God show me. Tell me, for I am nothing. I am your vessel. Help me now or forever hold your peace. God did not come. God did not help. God did not tell James what to do. Betrayed thrice, thought Father James. By the Father, by the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
He was alone with her. With this speaking in tongues, this massive tower of Babel so huge and confused under the shroud of his black robe. And James was filled with her crimsoning bouquet. Her ivory so flesh, bright burn of the eyes so Mary, the pleading of her thighs, her breasts so full of God’s blood and milk. Take, eat, this is my body and is meant for you. “If you want me to go, tell me right now, Father, I’ll go and I’ll never come back.” Mary blazed into him with God’s light. Yes, go! Be gone, whore of Babylon, temptress, she-devil, be gone. James heard the words in his head. But they would not come out of his mouth.
And Mary did lean down to him, bathed in a golden halo of honeydew perfume. James heard a heavenly choir soaring and a devil’s organ grinding. And she did lean down to him, her breasts so full of God, closer, her lips florid, touching him, the first time a woman’s lips had ever touched him. I’m the Holy Virgin, James thought. And she is Mary. I’m the Unholy Virgin, James thought. And she is sweet Mary. Her breath is so deep so red so wet. And her tongue is so full of life and fruit so forbidden touching his lips so light and his holiness jumped under his robe and he was so full and taut and fierce. O God, I’m burning up. I’m already burning in hell, James thought, and I will burn in a flame hotter than any human fire for all eternity. For ever and ever world without end, Amen. And I don’t care.
And Mary slipped her tongue, the hot tight serpent tongue of Eve, deeper into him. And a hurricane crucified his brain. And a twister spun through the third eye of the snake under his robe. O God, it’s so hard, James thought. And Mary took his face in her hands and her tongue slowly slid into his mouth and he moaned from his soul. And his hands reached out as if they weren’t his hands at all and grabbed her hips and she gasped under his grasp, sucked on his lips and those hips of Mary were liquid in his hands, undulating, swelling, swiveling into him. And James could smell her now. So fertile and earthly and heaven sent. And it made him want to give her everything he had. The keys to the kingdom of heaven.
And Mary pulled her breasts out of her blouse and she fed them to him and he dove in, baptizing himself in the milk of the flesh of Mary, so bursting in his hungry mouth, the rhythm raw and rocksteady. And there was no God and there was no Devil. There was only Mary. And Mary threw her head back in ecstatic rapture her tongue peeked out of her mouth, her eyes half shut in Biblical delight, the delicious quivering in her belly twitching all the way inside her, beating the drums fanning the fire. “Forgive me Father for I have sinned,” she whispered. And she took him in her hand scalding her flesh so hard and she disappeared into the black cauldron under his robe. And she kissed the tip of his stiff cross and he jumped and panted – “O God O God O God” – springing from his lips as she ran her tongue and cupped him in her hand gently massaging his world and swallowing him whole, slowly inch by inch into her Mary mouth and she moaned soulful and vibrated and he quaked, intoxicated by the dark depths of Mary.
Mary emerged, her lips swollen and turkey cock red, cheeks blazing cherries, eyes black fire, and she moved in and kissed him, let him sip his own saltiness sex on her lips. And then he was sitting on the floor and she was hovering over him, floating in the confessional like an angel of life, a devil of death. And she spread herself with her fingers. And she grabbed his gaze and would not let go. And James had never wanted anything so much as he wanted her. Mary. And she lowered herself, opening slowly, all over him. And she sucked on the very tip of the soul of him with her Mary, relishing the anticipation, feeling the frenzy until he could no longer stand it, and thrust uncontrollable and unconscious into this Mary. As if this was his sacred mission in life. As if this was his true calling. To be inside Mary.
And Mary pushed herself down onto Father James and slid her velvet tremor down, jamming, swallowing him whole, body and soul all the way with everything she had, squeezing him to the root, to the core, to the bone, to the moan, her foundation shaking, rocking his steeple, shattering her madness, rattling his stained glass windows, banging on the pearly gates, knock knock knocking on heaven’s door. And Mary grasped him, so tight and swelling and wet and delirious with him. And James found himself levitating, lovecrazy, heartcrazy, poemcrazy. This was bigger than him. More powerful. This wanting. This Mary.
Eye to eye, two windows into two souls. And there was a new incense filling the booth. The sweet scent of James and Mary. And she nailed him to her cross, took his crown of thorns, as she pounded down him, beads of holy water pooling into drops and raining down his face and chest and back, soaking his robe. And she rocked, insane, out of body, out of mind, in her body, his heart exploding as they climbed the stairway to heaven. And the animal in her eyes sprang at him, leapt into him, and he was possessed by the passion of her possession.
And he grabbed her hips hard now and pressed up against her as she slid sliding wet gripping grabbing and slamming, filling the confessional with their fury frenzy yes, “O God!” she cried in whisper, and “O sweet Jesus!” he whispered with a cry, and “O Mary!” he cried, and “O Father!” and “O Christ!” transported, transcendental, the ethereal house of the Father and the blessed Mary, the throne of God’s bliss, angels and devils dancing on the head of a pin prick, on the tip of their sin, skin drenched as Mary soaked him with her wet divinity, the holy of holies, until he could hold back no more, and his manna was shooting into her, from the balls of his feet through the thicket of his heart and into the river of his brain, and let their be light and together they entered the tender garden of the kingdom of paradise.
And then she wept. And he wept. Drenching each other in joy and sin. Crying in great gulps of love and shame. And James held her tight in his arms. And Mary held him tight in her arms. And they held onto each other in that confessional like they were the last people on Earth. The last people in heaven. The last people in hell. Then James thanked God. His God. For giving him Mary.