A Seminary Education
The most interesting thing I’ve learned while
at seminary was not taught to me in a class, but
something I observed gradually around campus:
amid this gluten-free fitness-freak city it seems I’ve
stumbled upon some holy place for women who are obese—
everywhere I turn there’s a thigh as wide as my waist
gyrating against its mirror, and I can hear seams
screaming, clinging like lovers being dragged apart—
I cringe, and cannot help but wonder why, what it is
about the religious life that beckons to them.
Of course in my heart of hearts I wonder if
I’m being an ass, if just having this thought is
offensive—but if I can’t even ask, if I can’t
wonder aloud in my own head, what’s the deal
with all these fatties? then I’ll have sacrificed
truth, or the pursuit of truth, nailed it to some
crucifix in favor of a world where young girls
can eat through their sorrow, can gorge with
sticky fingers upon words that whisper: doesn’t
this feel good? who needs beauty when you have
the grease of misery? If I can’t ask what all these
bowling balls are doing here, can’t wonder how their
wobbly pins don’t snap in half, then the world will
keep spinning and young women will keep turning
to Jesus, for he’s the only one to dry their tears
after a binge when the night is empty, the only one to
make them feel loved, the only one to look upon
all these obese women on campus who have, at long last,
given up hope, and told them it will be alright—
if I can’t even ask, then nothing will ever change.
Lost & Found
Or at least that’s what the sign says.
I watch the severed hand
scuttling and rummaging through
diamond rings and key chains and
Kodak cameras, through sunglasses
and eyeglasses and pocket-sized maps,
through coffee cups and baseball caps
and phones too stupid to find their way home.
The sleepy-looking boy had looked at me
in mild disbelief when I told him I lost
my soul in room 3-3-0—it must have
slipped between the covers when
I wasn’t looking and hid, listening,
or else it dove into the crack
between bed and wall—I don’t know
why it left me but I know I want it back.
And now it could be anywhere,
anywhere except here in the blue
bin at the concierge.
Alex Andrew Hughes lives and works in Los Angeles. He splits his time between his training in clinical psychology, his research in existential crises, and his fiction, poetry, and sketching. Sometimes, however, he does absolutely nothing, and he enjoys that time the most. His poetry has recently appeared in Thin Air, New Plains Review, Firewords Quarterly, and elsewhere.
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