In unsafe houses, housing
twenty year friends who’d pierce
you tell her love
because vigilante trained
aren’t badly timed
men-led Bible study
breakfast youth group
at which you learn
The lesson her husband
achievement unlocked Xbox
This is denial. This is thick denial, the sort the actors on Jeremy Kyle have, the ones on Jerry Springer. I’ve been lathering it for weeks, it’s my camouflage, because connections aren’t fragile but futile and poison in some mouths and I’ve seen our families murder each other, justify it with a Bible verse. I’ve watched the world convert people, simply, quickly; Hershel stood firm and shot the heads of people he’d met, of ones he might’ve saved, days ago. Faith can catch like silk, and when you see it in light, it’s a puckered, nonreturnable mess.
I won’t spell it out. That’s not how dialogue works. Six episodes into next season we’ll kiss, and soon we’ll probably die. There’s nothing to miss and temporary emotions are easily lost calories, morsels of memories we won’t feel the loss of.
Jack thinks once he’s made a mistake he’s broken, done, that’s it, hell. But I’ve always thought there were shots, hopes, chances for other, insert word here. The saving I offer is non-specific: could be picturesque or apocalypse. I’m ironing out the details.
Jack says, “On TV it’s simple. They underestimate criminals, expect more of the same, once bad, always bad. See them reaching for a gun, don’t think maybe it’s a mobile.”
“I was taught the same at school,” I tell him. “Don’t trust people. But redemption’s free if you want it enough and if you can really prove it, if the priest approves it and you get your blessings on time. I crossed arms across my chest, wished I’d had blinkers on, not watched Charlotte take bread, wine, and then John take it. I felt one step from the divine, one rung off of it.”
Jack makes a list before bed of every wrong thing he thinks, the number of times he’s thought it, and every action he’d undo or re-do differently if you could rewind and tape over life like VHS, or just snap the disc in half if it’s DVD. He asks if I’ll read it but I won’t because my wrong’s between me and the sky. I watched it leave the tops of my fingers as I breathed prayers over them, and I won’t retread what’s gone, wiped, forgiven already. I like to forget ex-boyfriends/girlfriends.