My Best Friend, the Pastor’s Daughter, Tells Me She’s Concerned
Alice White | Poetry
I’ll go to hell if I die right now, and she won’t have saved me.
We’re hanging off a lone blue raft in an oval swimming pool.
It’s true I’m found
at church on Sundays only after sleepovers at her house.
But I’m such a good churchgoer when I go—such a rapt listener the whole sermon, such a good complimenter of her dad
at lunch afterward.
I stand and clap along
to all the songs—smile, sing,
raise my arms in a V, close my eyes— What more do they want?
I listen to her whole speech as the raft spins itself
in slow circles,
moving the sun into my eyes and out again.
She finally finishes,
is near tears.
Hard to tell with all the wetness.
I dunk my head into the water and feel the cosmos shudder somewhere deep beneath my feet.
Alice White is a poet from Kansas City who now lives in rural France. She has received support for her writing from the Hawthornden Foundation, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and AWP Writer to Writer. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in The Threepenny Review, The Poetry Review, The Cortland Review, and Barrow Street.