Journalism in Verse – EST. 2016


The Black and White and Defiled Communion

in Health by

So who did I make my holy communion with?

Whose hand was it
that gave me the bread and the wine?
Whose smile was it
supposedly that graced my life
and gave me a new name?

How difficult can this baptism become
if the water is contaminated
with hands
that defile the holy compartments
that it seeks to bind
with the zeal of ancestry?

The steeples slink
into the bottomless nuance
of lust and boldly
into hypocrisy.

Hypocrisy, a failure
to stick to the first word,
to give up the first intent
of their original plan
and seek another.

What was the word of the priest I communed with?

In the velvet room
with the course fragility
of an acolyte’s robe,
it wrapped around me
like a file, shaving down
my potential and every other child’s potential.

The southern dream,
a welded sun on the beauty
of a smile in the heat,
this has diminished under oil;

the priest of my youth
has fallen into the whole smeared painting
crusted upon the brow.
This Protestant work
has savaged the finished prayers.
There is no registrar of illicit priests,
volunteers, clergy, bodies sharp as vipers,

no hand I trust to shake.
I have arrived in Canaan,
I have arrived in time

to see this righteous football game.
I have arrived to witness
the languages get mixed around
the highest temples
where children have been bloodied,

where I have been studied
by the filth in a magnifying-glass.
“The Judgment Seat of Christ
will be far less reticent
than a newspaper series
to uncover
what should never have been hidden.”

I have arrived to redeem
the rip
on my childhood seams.
I have come to learn about
the man I had a communion with.

Who was it that I made a holy communion with?

The belfry, the lantern, the spire,
each is corroded
with shame, the wrongful touch –
a young desire.



380 Southern Baptist leaders and volunteers accused of sexual misconduct [CNN]

Parker Jamieson reads their almanac of dreams to punctuate their writings. They have been published in various journals and online formats, most recently, The Wild Word. They go to school to study humans – how they think – and why philosophy matters to all people. 

Photo by James Coleman.

Latest from Health


I Turn to Prayer

By Susana Praver-Perez. An invocation for a sick president from a fire-scorched

July ICU Daydream

By Jed Myers. A dispatch from the outer limits of isolation.
Go to Top