47: Your Bubblegum Candy Heart [letter to my last self]

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The priest says God knows the exact number of hairs you have on your head, like the cotton candy congressman who never guesses wrong, the universe a careening raven in the black of his rotting tooth.

No one mentions that it might be cheating if God is counting hairs of something he so painstakingly made. A creation he cared about so much (so much that I think this is evidence that God most definitely is a man) that he entrapped a lot of people into spending their lives writing a story about how good he did (except for those meddling kids!).

Then again, God has all of us on a deadline, I guess.

They never say anything about this, either: How many hairs are curling up, like undead arms reaching for heaven, from the battle ground of your pubic mound. They talk around it a lot, and they are certain to stake their claim in it, force a three-pointed flag in it.

No one ever mentions this either: Jesus is topless in, like, every portrait, image, carving, every murky glass puzzle. Sweet and salty, get you a savior who does both. Sticky fingers turn the hymnal page.

They say this: Candy is better from the freezer. Frigid. Under lock and key in the church’s ice box. Suck it.

How many licks did they think it would take before you fought back? They bet too high on you. Fuck it.

You can forget all that now. That is the stuff of a memory you’ll soon leave as it is, as it was, as it will forever be.

Here’s what I want to say to you instead: Pocketed somewhere between your last wisdom tooth and the side of your cheek that’s as smooth as an unpopped cherry, awaits an answer you chewed out and tucked away a long time ago for safe keeping.

Be not afraid. This is the body of you.

Here’s something else I want to tell you, to spoon between your lips so tenderly, so many times, that you never forget the way it tastes of roots and ash and milky light:

You don’t have to believe anything anyone tells you. Trust your tender, aching gut. You’ll know when you’ve had enough.

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