Afterward, Silas and I had Holy Communion with Laurel on the beach: grape Crush and Goldfish crackers and Silas’s reassurances that it was not irreverent. We spread a bed sheet over the sand, which felt cold and tired here at summer’s end. A cool breeze came over the waters from the southwest so that Laurel’s hair blew out behind her like bridal veil. Silas read a poem he’d written in his Moleskine notebook:
Is she the only one to notice the way
the low orange moon walks the streets tonight,
this full satellite standing at the intersection beside men
out late, their shadows stretching behind them like secrets?
She loves the peculiar, the collision of common and celestial,
holiness networking with profanity. Magnificent absurdity,
the whole of it: God putting on skin and walking with liars,
divinity stapled to a death machine.
The phenomenon holds her like a jealous palm.
“Silas, that’s really good,” Laurel said as she leaned back on her elbows, looking out at the waves on the water.
“Really good!” I gushed.
The praise bounced right off of him. “It’s about you, Laur,” he said. He handed me the bottle of Crush and Laurel the bag of Goldfish. I felt the bubbles of carbonation burn my throat as I swallowed.
“I know,” Laurel said, then tasted a cracker, God’s body. “I am held by a jealous palm. I believe that. Right now, I believe that.” She closed her eyes, perhaps in prayer, and breathed in the scent of the breeze: algae and white clover that carried over the water onto this holy space.