Being Alive

Dominica Phetteplace

She says it’s hard to date while being a Christian and I assume
she’s referring to sex but actually she’s talking about forgiveness.
Especially when it comes to exes, she’s not sure how to feel when
they’ve moved on. Should she be happy if they’re happy and she’s
lonely? If they’re unhappy and she’s content?
Yes to both, I think.
I venture that a belief in a benevolent, omnipotent God precludes
asking him for anything.
Not that that’s ever stopped me. I’ve prayed for a million dollars.
I’ve prayed for pizza.
I’ve prayed to stop wanting the wrong things, to have the cosmic
good to align with my desires.
To have my desires align with my intentions. My intentions with
my actions.
I tell her I’ve spent too much time avoiding hard work and
heartbreak and now I feel distant from grace.
I know what I’m supposed to do
                          (listen for the silences and allow them to change
              you for the better)
but the attention economy makes it difficult.
I resist the urge to check my phone again. This is the form that
prayer sometimes takes.

Dominica Phetteplace writes fiction and poetry. Her work has appeared in journals such as Zyzzyva, Poetry Northwest, Copper Nickel and Ecotone. Her honors include two Pushcart Prizes, a Steinbeck Fellowshi and a Rona Jaffe Award. She sits on the board of directors of Clarion West, a Seattle non-profit dedicated to the instruction of speculative literature.

Originally published in Moss: Volume Eight.

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