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Apr 25, 2013

hail mary, full of grace - rachel seiderman

shelly has a preoccupation with jesus. after a kiss or two
she's soft like pure gold, she wears a cross
around her smooth-skinned neck and no one questions
it. she laps up glory. her tongue is a checkerboard
and i have three kings skipping back and forth along her
pearl teeth. her gums are pink, strawberries and cream, i
lick her greedily in public, in church. we sin in the last
row of pews, then she goes and crosses herself and asks
the good lord and his sweet son for forgiveness.

last summer i sat idly playing with shelly's hair
as she explained that jesus, her savior her dear darling her
manwhore, died to save her and her alone. there was
loud ungodly music screeching from speakers in
passing cars. she told me that teenage boys worship
all the wrong things. instead of breasts and
fingertips and slow tongues they should feel the
pull of the madonna, the only mother. mary, mary --

quite contrary, i say. shelly shrugs and smiles.

at night i lay in bed. shelly regrets nothing. shelly
has god and jesus and joseph and mary. the father, son and
holy ghost.

once, once shelly regretted something. i kissed her hard and she
shied from me. i was too rough. i scared her.
i broke something fragile in her body, she bled and wept
and prayed and prayed for salvation. she screamed and railed
and steepled her fingers and said jesus! with feeling.

what happens when jesus is too busy? when god forgets
to look down lovingly from his high horse? when the
virgin mother bleeds like all women and the myths and lies are
uncovered by people who aren't even looking to lay christianity
to the wayside?

maybe joseph ejaculated into mary's bathwater. sperm
are first-rate swimmers, shelly. sperm could find a needle
in a haystack and then shoot themselves enthusiastically
through the pinhole. it's time to face facts. the god of
abraham is the god of his offspring, and jesus's father may some
day turn a blind eye to hitler's atrocities and stalin's and the
catholic church's. the rosary beads are growing cold in my
open palm.

Rachel Seiderman is a first-year Master's student at Michigan State University.

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