Weekly feature by: Adam Snavely

While I convince myself I’m not dying,
I stretch out the pain in my chest,
swinging my arms around
like an idiot
before feeling under my armpits
for any lumps of wisdom
to be found. Nothing.
So I flip on the tv,
put on a re-run of Chopped
and think about how
when I go, it’ll be like this:
a twinge
under my right arm
which I ignore
because Chef Tonya
is frying her lamb chops
in a sherry reduction, which
is a disaster.

The first miracle Jesus ever pulled
was turning water into wine,
which they call
a minor miracle.
“Not bad, Jesus,”
says Peter,
drinking miracle juice.
“But I saw Criss Angel
put hooks into his eyes last week.
Thomas saw it, too.
Can you top that?”

My mother is three years old
and does not speak English yet.
Her husband is already ten
in a different hemisphere,
throwing rocks at cop cars.
My heart
turns
again and
again.

Chef Sanchez dabs the lamb
in its own juice, turned oxblood
by the sherry.
“It’s dry!” I yell.
“She should’ve seared them separate!”
He puts it to his lips.
The trumpet sounds.

“The lamb is perfect.
The sherry caramelized,
and when that happens the meat
can get tough and chewy in the
middle, but you controlled the heat
perfectly.”

“What about the vintage, Jesus?
Do you even know what year it is?”
Jesus smiles,
sips his wine,
knowing Peter will now not contract dysentery tomorrow,
knowing Peter will now not die next week.
He will die a few years from now,
a few miles from here,
hung upside down,
blood rushing to his swollen eyes
in praise of Christ.

I see the van
put its turn signal on
and get into the turn lane.
I look right as I pull out
onto the street.
I look left one last time
and hit the brakes
as the van takes my front bumper off.
My heart
turns

“Hello? Earth to Jesus?”
The party laughs.
Jesus wipes his eyes.
Peter will not die next week.

I turn the tv off
and wander outside.
The sun flies over me
as I stretch into its warmth.

Again
and
Again.


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