Self-Portrait at Sunday(Play)Skool

This is a trial of glue plus paint stir stick plus
picture of worship. Heavenly Father, you are
a grouch for closing my cut
with puss and infection. Look my face is
Jesus, a blaring coloring book waits
for Crayola Flesh and a beard.
A friend of Sunday school, if I
can memorize faith, I can have a king-
sized Hershey bar. If I “stay worthy”,
I can enter. A stylus over
an etch-a-sketch, God is in pentagon shapes.
God is in cells, in parallelograms, which
fit together, in children’s tactility.
In nursery, I knew scripture Bingo was delicious;
we eat cold cereal pieces once we win.
So, I have to come here three hours
for the rest of my life? Collapse
on pews, sing songs to everyone and
The Great Thou Art? So Happiness is
a foundation of a house? These metaphors
confuse right and wrong with objects, with football,
with a flashlight under sagebrush.
Maybe the word of God is blabber
and the devil with cloven hoofs means
he can climb these rocks.
If I copy the bible, I am a
saint of The Book of Mormon.
If God came to me, my face would
burn, if God touched me, he would
crucify holes out of handshakes.

Jeff Pearson is a neurodivergent poet who has been in psychiatric treatment for nearly eight years after being in state custody at the Idaho State Hospital South. He is a graduate of the University of Idaho’s MFA Program and has been published by Noble / Gas Quarterly, Monkeybicycle, Otis Nebula, Heavy Feather Review, Fourth River, Salt Front, Open Minds Quarterly, Barrelhouse, Entropy, and Moon City Review. In 2017, he won Permafrost‘s New Alchemy Award for his series, “User Reviews of Medication.” His chapbooks include Sick Bed and Location Services. He is Poetry Editor for 5×5 Lit Mag and Tweets at @legoverleg.