when you walk into your church as an 8 year old understudy in a play about slavery where the kid that your understudying gets his eyes gouged out in the play and comes up to you after church when everybody has left and you are small and wearing patent leather shoes and little lace socks and a poncho that was crocheted by your mema and a dress with at blue top part and a tie in the back and he looks at you and smiles at you and asks if you want to have sex with him but you do not know exactly what sex is but you say no anyway but he’s a big 13 year old. a big 13 year old man. and you know that if you run you’ll be punished for running around the church and if you scream you’ll be punished for yelling in the lord’s house because the Jennings family just does not do that and because god doesn’t like ugly and you know that, little girl. and anyway he has put his dirty sock in your mouth because he knows that even though you would be punished for yelling in the lord’s house and that god does not like ugly you might scream anyway. and you have to be careful not to bleed on your church clothes. and you don’t remember what standing up felt like after, thank the lord. and you don’t remember how long it was before he got off of you, praise jesus. and he didn’t make you promise not to tell anyone anyway, hallelujah, praise him. a mother to the motherless and a father to me.
well when you walk out of that church, falling into a black hole seems less farfetched and getting into a plane crash seems more likely than living till the age of 13,15,17,20 and a it seems only right that you may be mauled by a bear eaten by a lion scooped up in your pool by a shark or a whale that you couldn’t see through the chlorinated water or be eaten by piranhas in the bathtub that were cleverly obscured by sweet smelling bubbles that grandma dumped in so that you could be clean on the lords day before Sunday school, let the church say amen. i mean who doesn’t worry about monsters in their closet at 19 years old or strangers waiting under their bed as they sleep ready to stab through the mattress at a moment’s notice? is it not somewhat likely that i may be walking down the dirt path behind mema’s house and be sucked into a whirlwind that i later find out is the rapture and meet jesus tonight, hallelujah praise him?