Hands knit together for prayer, my mother slurs bible verses in my ear to coldly remind me that I was going to hell. We collect communion from the pastor, a bitter taste that lingers on my tongue and in my head, as I swallow the bread and listen to the organs echo through my ears and pound against my skull, mosaic jesus framed in the window
staring at me, as I did not belong, and nor did she. Her glassy eyes burn holes into my retinas, wrapping a rosary around my neck like a tight noose constricting my breathing. Anathemas cascade from her mouth like a cataract of hypocrisy, for she opens the bottle just as often as she opens her holy bible.
The familiar scent of vodka escapes her lips as she violently prays for me
to become a better daughter. She kneels against her stained bed, head resting in her calloused hands, whispering to a higher power I couldn’t believe in. For, if these were his followers, if this was under his omniscient control, he must’ve pointed his finger at me, cloud of despair washing over my head the way the alcohol drowns her, and commanded, there will not be light for you.
Tear stained cheeks every sunday morning, mass of unforgiveness, I loathe the crucifix that hangs before me, the blood that drips from his lifeless finger tips,