©2019 by Canvas Literary Journal

Published by Cosmographia Books

Background art “Camouflage” by Hyung Jin Lee

Canvas logo by Ali Wrona

here is the church and here is the steeple

Sarah Uhlman

Autumn 2019

my jesus died for sunday morning bacon,

the mixed fabric in the dress i wore to church last week,

my sister, her girlfriend, and almost everyone else i know.

my jesus had dark skin, darker hair, and even darker eyes—

i think he looked a little bit like jason momoa

and that image always comforted me.

i had always viewed Him through a microscope of sorts,

reading between the lines and analyzing like

i’d find salvation in between the double spaces—

after all, they told me that i would—

but my understanding of your words was only fragmentary

and i started to make Him in my image.

i was named, “noblewoman,” “princess,”

the counterparts of which being,

“nobleman, prince.”

but i am no sarah, i am no abraham.

i am, in fact, more of an eve;

a raw rib cage barely held together by tendons and fig leaves,

sore from laughing, sore from the womanly duties

i felt i had to perform for you, my dearest adam.

my first man.

i’ve been molded into this since the day i was

dropped from no one’s womb, covered in beautiful,

bruised, pink skin and decorated with full lips,

scars, stretches, a thousand slopes

too steep for any one person to climb on their own.

i’ve often found myself wondering why the nomenclature

of the man, the woman, and the snake is so different

when they all must crawl on their bellies to reach

whichever hellish shape they dragged

their heavy bodies from

when they tasted that fruit for the first time.

we tasted it first as we tasted each other,

so sweet and wet and faulted but it felt human—

an innocent humanity in which you would worship me,

break bread over my broken body

and yours would dance on its own

when i touched your rough skin.

so ugly on our own, but—so beautiful together.

we would make water into wine with our tongues,

being drunk on those already hazy nights;

and when i wanted everything else,

you would give your ambrosia

without hesitation.

i worshiped you too, then, a sadist god

who would cater to my masochism,

craving suffering and i hoping that you would suffer too.

i believe you are polylingual in my many love languages,

you speak in tongues with your

tongue’s movements in the dark,

pushing through the thin skin between us,

protecting us;

crushing our pits into one another.

you tell me that you like how we can speak

without saying anything at all.

i think to myself,

you just don’t want me to say out loud anything

you’d be afraid of hearing.

Sarah Uhlman is an only slightly rebellious teen who mostly writes at ungodly hours of the night in her room. She loves bad horror movies, good poetry, and beautiful strangers.