Rae Bryant

You know you should believe in some kind of God or man or some other entity than yourself but you never learned how to do this thing. This faith. You kneel one Sunday morning at the long altar of your father’s church, below a stage, and pray for forgiveness and cry and call to God to please take your sins. The pastor holds a microphone. She stands on a trap door and below the trap door is a swimming pool full of clear, clear water. She offers her hand and says, Do you take Christ as your savior?


Do you accept his sacraments?


Do you forsake all sin and the devil?

Yes, yes, but I cannot stop this feeling between my legs and my mind is forever reeling and I would really like to have a career and children and a passion. I am haunted.

The spots on her face lay hidden beneath Super Concealer Bisque # 1 and two big circles of Pink Poppy rouge. Her mouth is long and her teeth sharp but you forgive her these things. Surely, a woman with big teeth must have earned them. A necessity of context. Il n'y a pas de hors-texte. And you are the lost one. A woman of God is beyond your understanding. It is not your place to question her.

She takes you by the hand and into the clear, clear water beneath the stage and it is true, now, you get it. You are the deadly and the sinful. You are everything your mother cried over.


In the water is a lioness. In the lioness’ mouth is a shark and in the shark’s mouth is a fish and the fish is a dogfish and it is flapping and wiggling and dying between the shark’s teeth and the shark is flapping and thrashing and dying between the lion’s teeth and you say to the lion, This is not okay. This is not right. You should be eating an antelope.