I am sitting in the last place I’d like
to be on Sunday morning (church; New Jersey)
doing the last thing I’d like to be doing (meeting your parents).
This past week my boss was assaulted
in Savannah – the epitome of Southern gentility — KO’d
at random while walking with his partner through
The Historic District. Police continue to murder
civilians from sea-to-shining-sea. Your father glares
at me over a hymnal, grunts under his breath,
and I know that the “Dr.” in front of my name
means nothing, because as he’s already told you:
he saves real lives while my whole world is in my head.
I look up to see a beautiful and lithe Jesus, so gorgeous
in his sadness — blue eyes and alabaster skin, this erroneous version —
and for the first time, I actually feel sorry for Jesus. For the fact
that none of the miracles attributed to him have done
any of us any good. That at any moment our fathers could
have us nailed to a tree, or be slitting our throats like Isaac.
The minister is now-shouting. I’ve heard that compared to your parents’
denomination, my Protestant one was practically
a religion of liberation, when laid side-by-side to measure. But now
I’ve gotten past all that. Across the river right now, I know
the Freedom Tower stands defiantly like a stiff middle finger
to anyone that could help us save ourselves from ourselves.
And when we get up to recite the Lord’s Prayer, somewhere
out there in eternity the sound is choppy and the signal keeps