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To A Millennia of Popes

Dear Old White Men in Golden Robes, I don't know how to address you.

I wanted to experience Catholicism, the ritual of eating God on a Sunday morning. So last winter, I hauled myself up the hill to St Mary’s Star of the Sea, only to find that mass was conducted in Spanish and that God’s dismembered body was reserved for initiates.

Is it too late for me to understand the rhythm of the ritual? Too late to flesh out my flesh? Too late to learn Spanish… Latin… Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic? Elohim, God's name is plural. I am who I am. You are who you are. We are who we are. Are we separate? Or are we whole?

I want to kneel before beeswax candles, to feel God’s grace behind the stochastic incandescence of our light. I want to passionately believe what my ancestors knew. Dear, Mr, Sir, Your Majesty, Your Eminence, The Pope, give me a prayer book. I’ll repeat the words until they become palpable, palatable, poetry.

I wish I could say sincerely, signed,

a hungry history nerd

Written by Zinnia Hansen

Previously published on Young Writers Project

Author Bio- Zinnia Hansen is a seventeen-year-old high school student and poet from Port Townsend, Washington. She has a tendency towards abstraction, but a deep love of the idiosyncrasies that make us human. Her work has been published through the Young Writers Project, and she is a participant in The Hugo House Young Writers Cohort.

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