Shantih Journal 3.1 - Page 82

Will They Be Serving Seconds? fatima espiritu 82 Hiding from grace in the bathroom at the family’s holiday reunion BLESS US O LORD with the hand soap decorated FOR THESE THY GIFTS like a seashore with the yellow fish WHICH WE ARE ABOUT TO RECEIVE and the scale that stops FROM THY BOUNTY short of the weight THROUGH CHRIST OUR LORD of the heaviest person in the house. They are loud AMEN they have strong arms; the great uncles rest hands on my shoulders after every graduation PRAISE THE LORD and sometimes funerals. In the living room, two teams from the same state play against one another on the screen. The cousins watch; AND PASS quiet-like, they wonder what nationality is my birth father. A reliever sometimes comes in for only one batter. This tells me you’re not paying attention. Rebuked, the younger one leaves THE BUTTER the room. I’m surprised when they know my last name: handwriting uncautious in cards with good bills sent sometimes by accident when I’m gone long enough that something must’ve happened between this time and the last. Sure of it, they seal the envelopes with water or clear tape.