Yesterday I saw someone had posted a picture of Santa kneeling next

to a very white baby Jesus.

There was that usual fluffy hay to prop the holy baby, rays of divine light

surrounding him.

Santa peered over him, his knee bent in exaltation, his face peering

ever so curiously at the son of god.

And it made me giggle.

It made me giggle because what the fuck?

And then I realized my giggle was also a form of self defense.

I was so, so unearthed that other humans, other mothers and fathers, other souls

felt so offended, felt so adrift in the holidays,

nursed and coddled that deep feeling that their

god was not represented.

Not taken seriously enough that they felt such a wave of impulse and

direction to post such a picture in accordance with their conviction.

jesus and santa never mixed.

Jesus was not privy to this man, this myth, this legend.

Jesus, last I heard, did not understand the joy of getting a toy catalog,

circling your favorites, writing letters, making sure you were good

to get your gifts.

Jesus didn’t, but I suppose the church does.

The church has been in bed with the government for a long time.

It was confusing to me as a parishioner to be told to put aside the ways

of my flesh and yet, and yet, and yet, an echo of confusion, an echo

of me putting my ear to my own flesh and being so utterly bewildered.

And yet, while I was told to taste and take and consume the flesh of christ,

There were hints of being a good old American.

Don’t do these American things–you know watch other people fuck,

eat too much processed food, don’t hike your skirt up to get attention,

and don’t you ever dare think about going along with this love yourself bullshit of a culture.

Buuuutttt, if you want to keep consuming this idea that you are not enough, that

your soul is something to be saved,

to be scrimped and folded over and earmarked at the edges,

if you want to suck from the bones of that great old whisper that you can pull yourself up from

your boot straps with a bible and repentance,

if you want to drink blood wine, but not wine from

the drunkard, except when you lie about it or tell others it was all for fun.

It was all for fun, but now it’s a sin, you know it’s a sin and she, SHE made you do it.

If you want to place a lens over those beautifully backward new testament texts,

the very ones from Jesus’ mouth, bearing witness over the heart,

the ones where he completely loses to win,

where he gives and he provokes and he says things like

give Caesar what is Ceasers,

you know the ones where he says your government and your churches don’t get it.

They don’t and they won’t and hey, I’m pretty sure I’m here to get you all to some evolution.

And they killed him.

For some time the wine and the bread started tasting sour to me, much like rotten flesh,

much like sledgy, dripping, slime,

it got stuck where I was to speak.

I said no thank you.

My flesh tells me that this will kill me.

My flesh sends an alert from my stomach, to my heart,

to my brain that says this has gone on long enough.

It tasted badly. I can’t describe it any other way.

It started to taste badly.

I wanted some water,

I wanted some tequila,

I wanted some safety.

I kept looking in the corners of it all for some sense of it and I couldn’t find it.

Couldn’t even find that little sting of the truth,

that beautiful pungent process of change and altering.

My soul said let’s scoot girl.

I said but this has been what I’ve known. This has been it for years for me.

This got me out of poverty and Cycles,

this fed me fake cheese and gave me ideas to gnaw on and tickled my senses with incense and rituals and prayers.

Do you think this is the only place you can find this food,

my soul gently inquired, for it knows I like curiosity,

I like to explore the wrinkles in my brain, I do not like to be spoon fed the whole morsel,

I like to stumble upon it myself, so I hold on tighter,

so I integrate it into the folds of who I am.

Who feeds you my child?

Who brings you salve for your wounds,

who hears when your knees hit the porcelain tub and utter your prayers,

your mumblings in desperation,

and also your first morning gratitudes for sex

and good meals and even all the goddamn hard stuff that has nearly drowned you.

You ready to put it all together?

Yes, I say, yes.

We all hear you.

You were never alone. It was never one.

Sorry baby Jesus that Santa gave you a cross for Christmas.

I may not be asking him for anything anymore,

but I will ask you for your benevolent blessing,

because I have always felt you held a truth that was sacred and raw.

Please tell the others that I’m listening.