I Prefer

I prefer dessert
I prefer sleep
I prefer driving with the windows down
I prefer watching the physiological reactions that cause a dog’s tail to wag
I prefer the accomplishments of a team
I prefer to not get lost
I prefer needs
I prefer to know what is expected
I prefer outcomes that suggest the influence of kindness
I prefer steam heat to dry heat
I prefer to remember where I put things away
I prefer Jesus to the pope
I prefer shoes without socks to socks without shoes
I prefer science to miracles
I prefer sunset to sunrise
I prefer the abundance of sight to the cacophony of sound

Questions at a Confirmation

Do you reject Satan?
Do you believe in aliens?
Is someone sitting in this pew?
Do you need all this space?
Can you squeeze in just a little bit?
Can’t we all fit in?
Can we skip church tomorrow?
Are you going to leave the chrism pooling on your forehead?
Why didn’t you wear a belt?
Why are you slouching?
Are we supposed to kneel here?
Can you hear what the bishop is saying?
What is the bishop saying?
What is he wearing on his head?
Does he wear boxers or briefs beneath his frock?
Have you heard this song before?
What key are they singing in?
Do you think Jesus gave his parents a hard time?
What do you believe in?
Do you believe?

First Communion

Pews, sacristies, altars
with sterile smell and sacred silence
yield to patent leather shoes, penny loafers
wing tips and the occasional sneakers.

Pristine, white dresses of silk and satin
with veils hiding eyes, brows, bangs and cheeks.

Suits handed down from brother, cousin, neighbor, friend.
With striped, spotted, paisley ties skewed to the side beneath chins and necks.

Younger siblings sit and wait for their year, their time.
Older siblings sit and wait for the ceremony to end.