It is a long and largely empty life that we live if we truly think about it.

I hug my mother tight tonight because I think about all of the mothers who buried their daughters. I think of the phone calls or police visits they must have gotten, or perhaps the lack thereof – the waiting game a mother will play in painful anticipation, the knowledge of her child’s life far out of her reach and

It’s a long and largely empty life that we live if we truly think about it.

I don’t pray. I sit on the floor in front of my bed in a towel and a T-Shirt until my tailbone aches and my stomach rolls into careful lines. I look up with milky eyes and a red nose and I think does jesus want this and who is he anyways if he does? I sit and sit and sit and wonder if prayer – if praying to something I doubt – if there is a rulebook for it even? I think of the meticulous deconstruction of words and phrases I learned when I was seven (when meticulous and deconstruction were words I learned on flashcards) and how it seemed so simple, like an equation

I remember speaking to my pastor – or priest? – I remember asking him in a small but brave voice, after describing every transgression I could remember from my life until that point, asking him if he could wash my sins away, turn mi alma from chocolate chip to sugar cookie gold. And the sad thing is – I don’t remember his answer. I don’t remember his response. I recall him starting with the words “the soul is like” and I blank out after that.

Because, and I guess I knew from there, I know I knew from there, that to me, that I wanted it to be an equation. I wanted a one plus one equals two, a quadratic formula to sin, to find x and cleanse my heart, the deep rooted evil in my mind

(is that a red flag?)

I cried at my communion but I don’t remember why.

I feel guilt in my temples, in my toes, in the edge of my throat. Because I look to the sky that covered my uncle in dirt, that smelled the ashes of every woman and man I called cousin and I pray for them and it feels wrong. It feels deceitful. It feels spiteful. It feels. It feels.

It feels like. We live a long and largely empty life

(if you don’t have something to grasp onto)

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