When did you stop believing in a higher power?
When I was young, I said a prayer every time I heard
a siren. I thought that maybe, if I closed my eyes tight
and wished hard enough, God would save them.
Would you rather pray to a God who can’t hear you
or a God that won’t listen?
It hasn’t snowed yet in Tennessee, but it’s been raining
for a week. In the morning, curls of fog rise from the pavement
in thin layers of velvet, filling the valley.
I’ve noticed everything is softer after it rains,
like the world is holding its breath.
Last night, an apartment down the street
caught fire. We couldn’t see the building,
but we watched the emergency lights
through my bedroom window, and I thought
about the gas station where I get my cigarettes
and the family-owned barbeque place a block over.
Would you rather slow-cook in an apartment fire
or freeze in a snowstorm?
Everything here is the same—the same faded streetlights
and the same fast food and the same homeless people
lining the space between buildings. The sun was bright
in my eyes the next day, but I saw the apartment’s balcony—
it was a crisp, dark brown that bled to the neighboring units.
I thought it would be quiet when we moved out of the city,
but my love, there are so many sirens, and I haven’t slept in days.
I don’t know if I ever believed in God,
but I’ve started praying again.