Middle School

Sssssh! You can’t tell yourself,
but you have a crush on God.
Between classes, in the hallway,
you see her leaning obliquely against
the edge of a wall,
books shadowed in the crook of her arm.
Your eyes track her bare thin arms
down to her wrists, which are adorned in bracelets,
then to her fingers, studded with rings.
You wonder about God’s choice in jewelry,
while noticing that she’s not wearing any make-up.
God is giggling, talking to several other girls,
and since your legs are locked in place,
you know you won’t be walking over to God
anytime soon,
but you do wonder if you can work up the nerve
to make eye contact.
Your stomach takes a break from chewing your brain,
and you lift your eyes to take in a direct view of God,
who suddenly tucks several stray bits of hair behind her ear,
and this initiates a siege of trembling
which kickstarts a surge of bloodflow in your stone legs,
and you are suddenly aware that God is staring directly at
her smile a beam of radiant light slivering into a thousand tiny knives
plunging into and searing your vitals,
and you recall your friend Teresa’s impassioned encounter
with that chiseled Angel, and the sensations she experienced—
the burning beyond burning, the delicious excruciation—
that she so vividly laid out for you
in that tear-stained treatise
of a letter.
Your throat swallows itself
as God’s gaze
staggers you to a point of lucid blankness—
I mean, she’s staring explicitly at you,
her mouth a curved and starry beacon,
this is happening,
between you and God,
in the hallway,
between classes,
and when the bell rings
there is a mass, manic rush,
a whirlwind of bodies and voices,
followed by emptiness
and silence.
along with everyone else,
was gone.
You run your mildly numbed fingers
over your eyes to make sure they are still there.
Then your fingers crawl into your mouth,
verifying your tongue as present.
Next your fingers migrate from the cave of your mouth
to your heart, where the concentrated burning
reveals a singed hole in your shirt
the size of a fist.
Your fingers dance gingerly
upon the tender circle of pinkness
flushing your exposed chest.
It hurts in a good way.
You are not crazy.
You have a crush on God,
a requited one.
Sssssh! It’s between you
and her.

About John Biscello

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, writer, poet, spoken word performer, and playwright, John Biscello now lives in Taos, New Mexico. He is the author of three novels: Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale, Raking the Dust, and Nocturne Variations, and a collection of stories, Freeze Tag. His fiction and poetry has appeared in: Art Times, nthposition, The Wanderlust Review, Ophelia Street, Caper, Polyphony, Dilate, Militant Roger, Chokecherries, Farmhouse, BENT, The 555 Collective, Instigator, Brass Sopaipilla, The Iconoclast, Adobe Walls, Kansas City Voices, and the Tishman Review. His blog--Notes of an Urban Stray--can be read at johnbiscello.blogspot.com. Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale was named Underground Book Reviews 2014 Book of the Year.
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