Author | Gale Acuff

I’m going to die one day and meet God
and Jesus and the Holy Ghost and He’ll
judge my immortal soul, I mean God will
but then at our church God and Jesus and
the Holy Ghost are the total package
though Miss Hooker calls them the Trinity
but however much religion will con
-fuse folks I expect to know the truth when
it’s too late, which is never too late when
you’re dead, I figured that one out all by
myself but anyway He’ll judge my soul
as fitter for Heaven or Hell, God will
that is and maybe with some input from
Jesus and the Holy Ghost and come to
think of it they say that Jesus is God
but in the form of man and so to say
that God is dead is pretty accurate
save that He rose from the dead, after three
days I think it was and what is it with
the number three? but anyway I guess
you could say God was dead and then just how
many days that was so, I mean if it
was so or just an illusion, bigger
than even religion’s an illusion
that is but don’t quote me, I’d never tell
it around church and I’m only 10 so
I want to wait a few years until they
brand me as some kind of troublemaker
or God does, maybe He’ll mark me like Cain
or with the number of the Beast but half
the time I can’t even remember my
Social Security number–do I
have one anyhow? I can’t remember
that, either, but today after Sunday
School I told Miss Hooker, who keeps wanting
me to get saved, that I won’t cause any
problems until I’m old enough for her,
to marry I mean, I mean old enough
to shave and drive like she does now, she shaves
her legs anyway, and have a deeper
voice, I’ll have that I mean but I’ve noticed
that even girls’ voices change, not quite as
deep as a boy’s will dive but still you
can hear it, it happened to my sisters
and their underpants, too, but I mean with
blood in that respect, that’s a deepness, too,
when I told Miss Hooker that her face went
red, I’d say with blood but not to her face,
so I asked her if she was hot and I
offered to open a window but we
haven’t got one in our portable
trailer-classroom, just the door hanging but
we had it shut because of too much wind
and then I offered to thrust my fist through
one of the walls and give us some relief,
sometimes burning’s contagious, I don’t know
why I said it, exactly, but I bet
I do when I’m older and probably
not think twice about it, and then she smiled
as if I was stupid but lovable,
like Mother does to Father when they go
to bed early nearly every Friday
night. Now I know what it means to have young.

About the Author | Gale Acuff has had poetry published in Ascent, McNeese Review, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, Poem, Adirondack Review, Weber: The Contemporary West, Maryland Poetry Review, Florida Review, South Carolina Review, Carolina Quarterly, Arkansas Review, South Dakota Review, Orbis, and many other journals. He has authored three books of poetry: Buffalo Nickel (BrickHouse Press, 2004), The Weight of the World (BrickHouse, 2006), and The Story of My Lives (BrickHouse, 2008).

He has taught tertiary-level English in the US, China, and the Palestinian West Bank.

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