Thursday, 12 September 2013

Rafael Entertains the Priest.

In the hollow spaces between joy and pure, there is faith.
Ha. Faith you say. Faith. It begins below the heart. It begins in scar tissue.
We all suffer. Where is it? Your scar tissue. Tell me how you came by it.
What would you know about it?
You are a failed suicide and I am a priest. There are things I know that you won't dream of. And I've no doubt there are things you know that I won't dream of.
Won't or can't? Do you want to know what I dream of? I dream of tits. Oh yes. I dream of girls in pieces. Impromptu visions in my head. Like pornography. But better.
I'm sure you do. Let me ask you. Can you love without faith?
Ah Father. So often the searching gaze conceals the thing it is looking for. You and me for instance. I come here and you interrogate me on matters of faith, with precision and yes, I concede, a true curiosity. Which I admire. But what you seek eludes us both. You recite a catechism I cannot hold to. The truth is surreptitious. It resides in the flickering gas-lit parlour of the imagination. We'll not see it clear again. It is a relic of a time that is lost now.
Maybe so. If faith were tangible what would it be?
A stone between the ribs? perhaps. Something illicitly sustaining. I would test it like a blade against the wrist.
What would it make you feel?
Masterful. Compelling.
Is that so? What would faith not countenance?
A still mouth. A wreath burned to thorns, a wafer subsituting for nourishment.
The priest's eyes crinkled. And there and then, in the weak light, his smile broke. He looked around the cell. Held his hands open.
What do you miss?
I miss the green garden. I miss my father singing to his cat in French. I miss who keeps faith with whom. I miss love, like a marksman misses the target. And until I don't, I have nothing. Absolutely nothing. To declare.
Let me ask you again. Where does faith begin.
It begins below the heart, Father, it begins in scar tissue.

The copyright of this post belongs to Claire Steele

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