Thin Ice

My religious friends keep warning me that God and I are skating on thin ice. Especially when God names himself Prostitute or Fat Boy. Especially when she manifests as many, and the guarantees are few. We shrug. It’s what we do.

A man named Mick once told me that our postings make him laugh until he cries. He was puzzled as to why. He reads them every Sunday in an alley where an apple tree drips fruit to no avail, and he sips a yellow beer for communion.

The peyote that is God brings paralysis. The river that is God brings release. It’s the author God who writes you using metaphor and mint, drawing symbols in the sand for your protection, throwing ashes to the wind to guide you home.

We are mostly made of water: a fluid interaction between energy and thirst, a form of transportation, a sacrificial lamb. A sheer veneer of ice embodies danger with a certain kind of grace. But the pace of truth exhausts me, and I’m tempted to give up.

God removes his mittens. Offers me bare hands. The crowd of God applauds as I stand on shaky skates and push off using boulders and other people’s dreams. The sheen of God beneath me, the sky of God above, I am hypothermic mercy and cold, defiant love.

My remaining bones grow brittle with God’s blessing. I no longer take the time to make my bed. God shakes her head. When salt dissolves in water, ions form electrons, positively charged. With saline in my veins, the poison makes a promise that I’ll live another day.

Fat Boy tries to juggle. My Prostitute wears pink. She says, “Look at me, I’m funny, and when I’m cold, I’m slick.” But when I look, it’s only water and a wiser way to die. There’s thunder in the distance. And like Mick, I start to laugh. Until I cry.

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