In my early teens I was an acolyte
at the Episcopal church the next town over.
I want you to see me in the vestry, snapping
up my red gown and pulling the billowing white
blouse over my head. I want you to see
me walking up the aisles holding the golden
crucifix in my gloved hands, the stick
above my knees. The light glinted on the cross,
the minister blessed the wafers and wine and I believed
none of it. But sitting in my private pew I breathed
in the scent of burning candles and holy oil,
and felt myself step out of my body. It was you—
I sensed you from many years away; in my little
wooden box I was no longer lonely. All of this is to say
I will not let you go unless you bless me.
MOLLY MINTURN’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Boston Review, the Iowa Review, Bennington Review, the Toast, Indiana Review, and elsewhere. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is very slowly working on a book of essays.