In The Dawg Haus: Gregory’s Story

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Manhattan Madonna [Hollywoodland 2011]

Manhattan Madonna     Madonna statue as found.

 

The Leo House stands in the heart of Manhattan. In the hollow confessional of the lobby, I stood waiting for the nun to confirm my reservation.

My stomach was as empty as the eyes of the portrait of Saint Francis watching from  the west wall. The rooms were single occupancy only and a mere sixty dollars a night. Where the nuns and young priests have slept dreamless and stiff in the host metal beds, my lover and I conceived a child entirely in sin.

First, I hold my husband blameless for the empty marriage that swept the ashes he left of me to ignite in another man’s arms. Second, to bring the millennial revision of holy virginity to my loins pulled tight as a cloche purse a  hazard of uninterrupted nights of unprotected sex and my lover’s botched vasectomy, blame what the first week of February does to New York. 

The beautiful and hopeful sky between the shadowy concrete spires and the bricks—more shades of gray than a used crayon box could hold.

The  lights of the Empire state building glowing in four perfect hearts, just like right before that scene of Sleepless in Seattle when the heat-seeking missile-like  lovers embraced their first kiss.

My heart thumped while we rode in the taxicab silent as children in church. I did not look at him, and he said nothing.                                   

We were sinners to the bones of us. 

I could no more look him in the eyes than he could telephone his wife and say that we were checking in to this obscure hostel for a mid-winter sex fest.

The room we shared was the number of the holy trinity.  We fell together below the crucifixion mural hanging above the headboard; our lust left us burning blue like the carpet under our bare feet.

In white sheets pulled taut as the shroud of Turin, we bled into each other like the lashes on Jesus. 

We bled with the fury of the openhearted Madonna. We bled like our bodies touching so purely in sin made how we made it together a holy communion.

Slowly turning the breath of God into a body language so passionate that the egg white walls around us cracked and the yolk of our son stirred into life.

Seven  days and seven nights, we weaved him into flesh and into bone. On the eighth day, we rested.