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Liturgy

In a beautiful church, a beautiful father and daughter sit side by side, both hungover, with splendid dark colors under their eyes. The daughter is a touchable sapling birch. Thin and resilient, the stained glass windows tint her creamy form with sudden red and purple shapes. The father is a rough northern tree. Beneath his white shirt he is notched and burgundy. He counts the ribs, slow with wine, of the still Jesus on the crucifix. They have the same eyes, the father and the Jesus, milky and upward.
The father touches his marinated daughter's white hand and she falters to the confessional like a new, stupid-eyed deer. Inside she confesses things about flesh and wine in contexts far from communion. In shameless, vodka detail she admits to a night of penetration, seizure, instinct, heat, wildness. He words slide like raindrops on a windshield. She leaves the box with the stains from the windows still corrupting her white dress and neck, even in the autumn sun.
Next her father hides in the confessional. On beer fumes he confesses that he regrests teaching his daughter that she would go through life forever scarless simply by periodically bragging in a dark box with a screen. He regrets teaching her his ritual pilgrimage from bottle to box, every bright night to dark morning.




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