The Body

I walk down the aisle and take my place in line, waiting for the magic, the myth, the body of Christ. I get to the front of the line, say “Dellinger–D-E-L-L-I-N-G-E-R, Pamela.” She hands me a bag that rattles, says, “That’s four dollars.” Absolution comes cheap. I swipe my debit card, sign my name, and take the offering home.

The bag sits on my kitchen counter  for an hour before I get the courage up to open it. Inside, a regular pill bottle, brown, white childproof lid emblazoned with the Walmart Pharmacy logo. Push and Turn. I do, and pour redemption into my palm.

The pills are not pills at all. In the last five years, they’ve changed from name-branded to generic, from pills to capsules branded with the letter H and the number 96. They are also now pale pink, I suppose to make me feel like they’re innocuous as candy–a call back to the inner child, to the me I used to be.

But I know they aren’t.

This body does not fill; it takes away. Once consumed, it removes all about me that is unique. There is no free sprit, no ecstasy, no light. There is only normalcy, and they tell me that’s a good thing. No more sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll for me. No more creativity, no more writing–this I’ve learned before.

But there will also be no more stones.

I open a bottle of wine for ceremony, pour the blood. Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been five years since my last confession. I swallow, and the dogma enters.

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