"The Kids at My Christian School" by Hannah Gordon

don’t know about Justin Theroux

or that show

where he was left behind

but instead of being afraid

 

he became his own savior.

 

The angles of his face—

sharp as the spear

that pierced His side.

The timbre of his voice—

as hard and strong as the rock used to seal His tomb.

 

In just three seasons

he discovered:

it’s better

to be left behind

than taken away.

 

I used to be afraid

until I saw Justin

come back from the dead

and it didn’t even take

three days.

 

Now I imagine

a different God

one I don’t have

to fear.

 

All the kids

at my Christian school

know is fear

(fear and God go

hand in hand).

 

They only know

about those Left Behind books.

 

They read them

cover to cover—

enraptured.

 

Where will you be when Jesus returns?

they’d ask me. Do you know?

What was my answer?

 

Back then

when the clouds

would part & sunlight

would stream through

like honey

 

dripping from

a spoon

 

I’d wonder: is this God?

Is this Jesus coming back?

 

I’d race home

just to make sure

my mother was still there

right where

I left her.

 

I’m no longer

afraid

but my heart

aches for

who I used to be

 

how everything

used to converge

(all the great & mighty

& terrible things)

into one omniscient

looming God

 

(the Bible is a sword

after all)