Skip to main content

The Priest | In State | Interred

The Priest 

 In a weed-fogged room, a cross-legged supplicant petitions god, any god for mercy.

And it’s a miracle when the ground quakes and the winds come, spiriting him away. He’s cresting on iridescent clouds and flung into the dark, dark sky.

Where nothing lives, nothing breathes, nothing satisfies. Nothing devours deceit, nothing bears the pain of living.

This his prayer and he the priest. But I make the sacrifice. 

In State

You lay by the window, smiling weakly at the painting—the one of Jesus—his eyes on you. You whispered they were on me, too. 

But his face was shrouded, hidden from me. He didn’t call me like he did you. I could never tell, never hurt you.

I kissed your papery cheek, grief’s saccharine taste on my tongue. We knew it was goodbye, but you didn’t believe it was forever. I wish I could feel the same. 

Interred 

The twisted oak hung over the creek—now barren but once brimming with rain. Deep in the trunk, a filthy box, a vessel holding the discarded, the things I no longer believed.

The ring, the letters, the photos hinting at disease.

I unfolded the paper and traced the verses. The ones that carried you through the darkness. The ones that strengthened your faith. The ones that made me lose mine. 

I put the words in the box and buried them in the ground.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Forgiveness Doesn't Fix It

In 2020, my major crisis wasn’t the virus, the tornado that damaged my kid’s school, or even the suicide bombing that occurred just a few miles from my house. It was the collapse of my marriage.  Friends have asked me if I thought our relationship would have survived if there wasn’t a pandemic. I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe the rhythm of work, school, and our kid’s extracurricular activities would have swept us along, and we wouldn’t have stared at each other’s faults for days on end. But our marriage began to dismantle years ago. Like many couples, we went through a trying time where our vows were put to the test. But our young kids’ wellbeing outweighed the grievances, so we toughed it out and stayed together.  Still, I was hurt. Really hurt. But I had to figure out how to stay in the relationship without being devoured by anger, which was foreign to me. Throughout my life, I’ve always cut the cord — I never stayed friends with ex-lovers. I’ve walked away from lifelong friendships. I ha

The Day I Found Out

My fury softened when the fellow at the gas station carded me and said my silver hair was sexy as hell. Outside, my dog waited in the car, her head out the window, her eyes tracking me. We sped to a favorite trail, the one by the river that ferried boats and barges, and sometimes kayaks, in the sluggish, muddy water.  I let her out of the car, and as she ran ahead, I cracked open the beer with a satisfying hiss. I took a long pull and realized I could down it in one go but started walking instead. I had to find the dog. Just around the bend, she was sniffing the ground in front of a runner, staying out of his way, but still, he gave me a hard look. I tipped my beer to him and took another drink, meeting his scowl with indifference. Indifference always wins.  We turned onto a side trail, quiet and less traveled, where the dog bolted, her paws pounding the ground as she sprinted out of sight. I didn’t worry. I knew she’d come back.  But there in the hazy shadows, it hit me — the latent s

The Last Taxi Driver | Lee Durkee

What do the Buddha and Bill Hicks have in common? Ask Lucky Gun Lou, the Mississippi cab driver in Lee Durkee’s dark and hilarious novel The Last Taxi Driver.   Lou suffers psychotic breaks, has spiritual aspirations, and wrestles with bitterness but aims for kindness when dealing with impossible and highly comedic situations. And though he’s often agitated, his innate sweetness shapes a compassionate view of a marginalized and often criminal society and makes him an endearing character.  His opinion of Noir at the Bar should be taken seriously, too. Lou also shares some sage driving advice. Don’t tap your brakes when somebody starts tailgating you. It’s tempting, but it can backfire. Also don’t flip him off, not yet. First try this: pretend to adjust your rearview, so that the asshole knows he has your attention. Then suddenly wave to him and smile as if you are excited to see him. This will make him worry that he knows you, and instantly he will feel like the dick he is and