There’s No Praying in the House of Horrors
I Pray in Screamers House of Horrors
Part of me was still on the party bus with the estranged branch of my family. Part of me swallowed a wavy strand of the Niagara Falls. It rappelled down my throat like coloured scarves, each knot a repentance, resentment lost, while part of me clicked a padlock closed on the redemption arc for luck. Part of me was gleeful at unsnapping the twig and reversing the tape. Part of me knew the blood was fake while the dark tunnel shrieked in August heat. On my knees in the hooded canal, whites turn blue and bare their teeth at the part of me willing myself to heal without giving the trick away. Under the strobe lights, sharp shivering staccato like a crunched popsicle, part of me was promised a celebratory pin, I made it through Screamers House of Horrors, even after all of this. Part of me rolled my eyes through the roadblock of ghosts and skeletons like bowling pins lined for a strike. Part of me hit the gutter hard and came out the other side into whoops and hollers, pats on the back, smacked with the black, beaming flashlight of forgiveness. While part of me did not believe, not for one fucking second, in all of that terrible business.
I Pray to Stop the Blood
I went for a walk on my knees in the woods. Spiders crunched under the heels of my hands like dried flowers. I fell forward into the stinging, universal privacy of the singed grass and wondered whether I was on the earth’s back or her stomach.