Family Dinners

God is thinking about me
and eating me…
Tomaz Salamun

Saturday nights, we fasted.
During Sunday mass,
we fidgeted on hard pews,
light-headed from low blood sugar,
dizzy and suffused with delusions
of impending grace.

We bargained with the lord,
devoutly chanted our unworthiness.
With bent heads, we knelt
and beat our breasts,
offered trembling tongues
for a piece of the sacrificed Christ.

Family dinners continued
the repentance theme.
Mom served fried liver
with red onions,
a hungry child's
crown of thorns.

Her "eat three bites or
sit all night" rule
taught me
about swallowing
without fuss
everything I was told.

Afterward, I poked
a finger down my throat,
rejecting God and mother's feast
as I obstinately purged.


c2000 by Jennifer Lagier