by a contributor
a brief encounter by A. D Lin
She is picking lazily at the scab on her knee, lifting the edges, trying to glimpse healing. I am caught holding a romaine lettuce shell, patting its veins dry as I have done with ninety-seven pieces previously. When she looks up it is at me. The Jesus prayer is throbbing through me and I cannot remember when or how it began. I shut my eyes against the bright morning light turning her into shadow. When I open them everything is blue-green and she has gone outside. One hundred and one. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner. One hundred and two. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner. I do not believe in God. I did not choose to pray. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner. She is bringing wild daisies into the house, dirt moons beneath her fingernails. One hundred and three. I have not been remade by good news. No grasping breath after my death. The thirst she has as she greedily swallows water, some droplets dampening down her shirt. The prayer, pulsing hot, burning like the eye of the sun I used to look directly into as a child. I will die thirsty.
A. D Lin is a writer, teacher, and lactose intolerant turophile.