Sandbox

I played God when I was little

I turned crab apples into cherries

and sand into pie crust

I drowned ants with a hose

and built them tiny castles

I pulled my first bible from a sticky hotel room drawer

Read one column and remembered nothing

At Thanksgiving I bowed my head but did not close my eyes

I felt my palms sweat in my grandmother’s hands because I was sinning

I refused to say “amen”

Once, I prayed when a boy didn’t like me back

I told God I would never ask for anything else

I used to apologize to the sky

I wished on birthday candles

I knocked on wood

I held my breath as I passed graveyards

so I never breathed in ghouls

I clung to lucky things: stones, charms, keys, combs

I’m terrified of death.

I jumped over every crack in the sidewalk

I broke a mirror seven times

I worshiped him

I threw salt over my shoulder

I screamed Oh, God

I spit

I ate six pieces of communion bread

and sat in empty chapels waiting for revelation that never came.

whitfo1@stolaf.edu

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"Streetcar" revels in tragedy, emotion