let me stay in it

i only ever practice religion when i need the universe to act in my favour.

As a kid, i pleaded to:

skip steps,

look older,

seem wiser

i couldn’t bear to sit with myself

each red light, a barrier to being better,

each sleepless night full of sickening

reminders of my own mediocrity

at some point, i accepted that i’d always be fighting against time

but when did i start moving in the other direction?

She drives me home

i send prayers to the traffic lights,

begging them to stay red for a bit longer

so she’ll lean over the centre console and kiss me.

She does, then twice more as we ignore

the impatience of the driver behind us

i spend a lot of time searching the night sky, but not for a higher power

i call out to the earth, urging it to take its time with this rotation

— and all the other ones, for good measure —

or if that isn’t possible, to spin so fast i get dizzy and fall into her.

Tonight she’s fast asleep at my side

so i reprimand my eyelids

and watch the clock,

hoping that if i wish hard enough, its hands will slow

to match her breathing.

i will steal every second i can

i will memorialize the minutes i once prayed away

for i might not make it to your heaven, but have built my own on this earth.

Please, let me stay in it?