By Reed Fowler
Planning worship this year was different.
We had to add new names to the list of those siblings lost too soon while planning.
For a total of twenty-five.
Not counting those unknown to us, erased in death, who died alone, due to addiction, mental illness, poverty, more cycles of transphobia and violence.
I want to wrap my body around the cross.
Clinging with all my strength.
When I press my cheek to the wood it feels like blood and tears.
I cling harder and the woodgrain imprints on my body. Or my body carves into it.
This space of lament and fear reaches deeper —
Like a caretaker or lover holding my heart.
Risking splinters is the only way I feel safe.
I’m angry and sad and exhausted at how often I feel those things.
My heart sings when it hears about shifting language
(from he to she to zhe)
(remembrance to resistance)
(but I can’t rest in that)
I want my tears to sprout buds on the cross
I want my siblings’ blood to sprout buds.
And let our cracking ribs
Breathe in the scent of flowers.
I will interlace my veins with yours.
And cling harder to the splintered cross.