father       I don’t remember

the last time I wrote       a letter to God


but I do recall       that Sunday when you

preached all nightmares are     the dead


telling us to confess

thus they are all God-sent

thus confess confess


father       I would kneel with you in prayer

if only         you were sober


you talk of ghosts     as though

you know them       but you’ve miscalled my name


for a child no longer here     for the twelfth time now

have you forgotten     I’ve come home?


yes I’m no longer the boy       who packed his lunch

in a kitchen       full of empty bottles


and I know my sleeplessness

is a symptom     of my sins


but maybe it is a symptom

of yours too       father


it’s all right       just lay your head down

close your eyes


do not fear     the voices

I know       your regrets


can last generations       but

now is your time to listen

Photo Credit: Anonymous, “The Ghost of Bernadette Soubirous” (1890) by Anonymous.

About the author

Jeddie Sophronius was born in Jakarta, Indonesia. He is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Virginia. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review, Prairie Schooner, Juked, and elsewhere.

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