because my mother’s best friend is catholic

by | January 7, 2021

today it seems the missionaries are bound

to send their best-disguised recruit –

the tickle of hair on your top lip better found

at the wheel of a Ford F-150, camo drying on the boot,


but filters the word of G-d to a tinny sound

a frequency between carrie underwood and orchestral flute,

country-classical. you pronounce proselytize like a round


of whisky, on the house, a crowned

glory, a correct citing of john 8:44 draws a winning suit

of cards or a dart on bulls-eye. in your eyes ‘the ground’


and ‘the water’ were mixed up in a second genesis and we drowned

where we should have donned a swimsuit

and floated. these moments bleed like a wound


inside us. for example: you told me that G-d told you (rebound

through a line of chinese whispers, like prophecy was an offshoot

of the national lottery where you could win big) that I was in profound


need of help; that you would save me; astound

me with revelation. did I have love, duty, an acute

belief that if I asked G-d would bring me cut-up fruit or browned

butter cookies while I did my homework?


I cried as faith marched towards the parade ground. ■


Words by Natalie Perman. Art by Alisa Musatova.