Week 390 // Gods

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Holy child I met at the bus stop
Hold my watch to your ear
Hear the tick
You know the Spanish for every number
But you know not which word stands for which

I was a child in a whole other country
I fell away
But I never forgot
I learned a language with ugly syllables
And translated prayers back to God

And every night
I speak my name out
‘Cause something tells me to

Charge the thing again every few hours
The thing won’t stop buzzing
The thing is a god
Take a picture and everyone sees it
And everyone knows that they’re loved

And every morning
I draw a circle
‘Cause something tells me to

Notes
My neighborhood is full of church bells, Sunday morning gospel bands, and storefront Pentecostal congregations that create an ecstatic ruckus in numerous languages. Each Monday, I go to work in a largely Hassidic neighborhood where signage slips out of my ability to read, and fashions speak only to piety. The super in my building is a faith healer — a fact I learned accidentally from YouTube. They say the urban Northeast is a dominantly secular space. They are wrong. Faith emanates from every crack in the concrete.

This song is about a few different ways people seek faith when they are lost out here in the wilderness. Specifically, they seek it through the wonder of children, through the touchstone of community, and through the twin gods of technology and capitalism. Surely they seek faith elsewhere as well, but my song ended before I had occasion to elaborate any further. Some gods will have to wait for another Monday for their praises to be sung.

~M.E.

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