in school, the only Catholic in a sea of Protestants,
they said a prayer was like a telephone call to God but you can’t join the choir.
i said, mum i don’t want to die.
she said, ‘don’t worry that won’t happen for a very long time
now go back to bed'
back to bed i went
my mind got lost in the space between my bewildered eyes and the sparse wall
eternity filled that space and it was closing in
the telephone calls to God started to feel strange
like talking to a perverted uncle
so we went East
i hung up the phone all together.
left my guilt in the streets of A’ali.
and whenever it reared its ugly head
i rode it into the ground,
punched it through a window
stashed it in empty houses that i would break into
nullified it by tempting death
proving my immortality with mighty leaps off rooftops
there was nothing to worship
no phone calls to make
and beating hearts
at sunset, a haze would settle over Dilmun
car fumes and dust
the mullah would clear his throat through the loudspeakers
and every mosque for miles
would praise allah
and we’d be racing through the streets
rejoicing in the coming dark
sweat running down our brows
hands aloft, cheering every star that was able to break through the dying day and smog
screaming at the rising moon
we’ll never fucking die at this rate
i had found my congregation