Sunday School

Sunday School

On the way to church
my mother took a Kleenex
and scrubbed me with her spit.
God knows what mysteries
lurked inside her lipsticked mouth
But even the woody scent of varnish
on the chairs at Sunday Schoolfile000454628870
never lingered half as long.

The sound of hymns and half-tuned
pianos, the upright and the eight-year-old
wedged into God’s corner classroom.
Dizzied stanzas and standing up to sing
drained the blood right out of me.
The Baptist felons who pled out
and took the deal—salvation, saltine
crackers and orange Hi-C—shared a cell
with Jesus for an hour. We did our time
and waited for release. Poor Jesus
was not so lucky

The waters of baptism
and all the hallelujahs of parolees
were no match for the preacher in his
waders, always eager to reel us in. No nets
for these disciples. In this church it was
strictly single file. I must have been a fish
too small to keep and clean. My sins were never
washed away and finally yielded not to truth,
hosannas of the righteous or the damned,

but mother’s spit,
dabbed gently on a Kleenex
and applied quite vigorously

to the glory of God

and in the front seat
of her ‘59 Oldsmobile.
BEFORE THE RAZOR button ver 2

razor iconD.G. Geis lives in Houston, Texas. He has an undergraduate degree in English Literature from the University of Houston and a graduate degree in philosophy from California State University. His poetry has appeared in 491 Magazine, Lost Coast, Blue Bonnet Review, The Broadkill Review, A Quiet Courage, SoftBlow International Poetry Journal, Blinders, Burningword Literary Journal, Poetry Scotland (Open Mouse), Crosswinds, Scarlet Leaf, Sweet Tree, Atrocity Exhibition, Driftwood Press, Tamsen, Rat’s Ass, Bad Acid, Crack the Spine, Collapsar, and The Write Place at the Write Time. He will be featured in a forthcoming Tupelo Press chapbook anthologizing 9 New Poets and is winner of Blue Bonnet Review’s Fall 2015 Poetry Contest. He is editor-at-large of Tamsen.

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