Glass Poetry Press

Volume Five Issue One

Christine Reilly

Seven Sacraments

Baptism: Bless you, Christine, everyone says, bless you, and the priest rinses the surface of my body from scalp to toe. It's not enough. I'm still growing inside, from decent to indecent and then decent again, a crockpot of thoughts in the shape of howling wolves. Everybody learns either by asking questions, enjoying sins, or hurting themselves. May you only get hurt in a place where no one can see it, I hear: my fortune. The back of the knees would be ideal. Eucharist: The priest says, The body and the blood of Christ. We are taught to place the left hand over the right, and then place Jesus' body inside ours with the right hand, like he is a Russian doll. I am silent for days afterward, waiting for Jesus to open my mouth and say something. His body remains shy and digesting. Once, in the middle of the night, I thought I heard him whisper Wild goose. Foolish. Taken off the ventilator. Maybe he was sleeptalking. Maybe he was dreaming too. Reconciliation: I'm sorry I'm not sorry, is what I learn to say in my head in the thin room alone with the priest and the tabernacle. Katie O'Hara taught me this. The mothers call her Kathryn, and bad news. That's rude, I tell my own. You should confess that. Confirmation: I have four names now — Christine & Jessica & Margaret & Reilly. A saint slipped in there somewhere and caught my tongue with her own. I named myself after the saint with the most children. Katie told me that St. Roch cured plague victims but then he died from the plague. Marriage: My boyfriend always has a surprise from me when he comes home from work. I rate them on a scale from one to ten. One is a candy bar. Five is a promotion. Ten is a proposal. Holy Orders: This sacrament is taboo. I named myself after the saint with the most children. Anointing of Sick: There is a terribly sad card that says, Merry Christmas From Heaven, in today's missal. There are children with coordinating sweaters, a red border, and a Saint Bernard.