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i.     los pecadores.

He hasn't been to church in eight months. After all those funerals, all those he could bring himself to attend, he doesn't think anyone listens when he prays. Sometimes he wonders if anyone is there to listen.

The stain glass windows are shades of black (black, blacker, blackest), reminding him of the cloud, the clothes, the mood. He should move over, accidentally press his leg to hers and not notice until they leave. But, no, he shouldn't; this isn't her.

He listens to the words, but he can't understand because he failed this language in high school. As he stands, perdona nuestras ofensas echoing throughout the church, he remembers how she persuaded him to spend midnight this way. He remembers, but he quickly forces it from his mind; he shouldn't be thinking about por favor, mi amor mumbled around a mouthful of his cock early that morning.

Her left hand with its red and green painted nails comes to rest on his ass, and he joins in on the amen.

 

ii.     y en la hora de nuestra muerte.

He approaches the altar, shaking rain from his leather coat. His footsteps echo like perdona nuestras ofensas, and he doesn't believe because her hand was on his ass and he said amen.

The candles in glass holders bathe the otherwise dark church in a red glow, mocking him. He came here to escape the bloodied hotel room, the bloodied trauma rooms. If he wanted a reminder, he would be sleeping and dreaming.

He drops to his knees on the thin carpet near the altar, and dropping to his knees on thick carpet next to her flashes through his mind. Then he pleaded with her, but now he pleads for her because the nurse said she'll be asleep for a long time. No one bothered to tell him what long meant.

His right hand touches his forehead, his heart, and his shoulders before he bows his head. He says amen and prays for the right reasons.