The Church Bed
by Rebecca Berkman – Rivera
“Bear witness to this lost cause” murmured someone from the back.
The church was long and vapid, like the guts of a sparrow.
The men wore coats of raw hide, and black velvet suits with long silk scarves to cover their heads from the vomit and stench of the crowd: they were true aristocrats.
“Beware of the men with no heads” my mother had said. And now here I stood a headless cowboy myself facing death before them.
“He ought to burn in soil. Smoke him out for his sins.” another shrieked.
This was not the end I had supposed. This looked nothing like what I had daydreamed long ago in the back of my father’s van as we drove across the borders, in some sort of exile.
To be honest I had always thought my end would look something apocalyptic, like a sudden halt in free will: The mass collapse -a heart attack that ached of common good. Instead it looked something like this:
I lit a match sometime in my twenties and never let it go.
I waited for the slow burn to wear off: and saw that it never would.
I quickly learned that my brain was some big metaphor,
and being human,
went off in search off what that could be.
On the path to my journey I found someone who ripped my heart in two:
but I figured I still had a heart and kept on my way.
Next I came across a dying bird: a sparrow of some sort, dirty from city streets - sad from lack of oxygen. As I watched the creature gasp for life I discovered I was useless and moved away. That was right before I came to a bridge, of course, which crossed over a large purple stream, this could only mean one thing, this could only mean…
And I jumped for fear of falling.
Below the waters edge I could hear the voices of others and decided this was good. So I stayed, and on my path toward knowledge I felt comfort and let go. I thought there’d be more courage in the end and less water.
“You were our only hope – our saving sun? What happened?”