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Updated: Jun 15, 2021

A former Catholic schoolgirl’s prayer:

Our Father,

I say the words that don’t roll off my tongue, but stick to it like molasses. Sticky like the

complicated love between my father and I.

who art in Heaven,

Heaven is a teenage girl, I like to say. She laughs at me, and says she’s the exact

opposite: Heaven backwards, she says, just like her name.

hallowed be thy name.

I say her name over and over—whispered nothings kissed into soft skin.

Thy kingdom come,

They say judgement day will shake me to my core—my greatest sin laid bare and it’s


thy will be done,

They say his will is shame. Shame for my sin as I get down on my knees.

on Earth,

They say this place is temporary. I say it's the closest to Heaven I’ll ever get.

as it is in Heaven.

They say I could make it. I say I’ll never let her go.

Give us this day

She says she’ll give me forever.

our daily bread

I say I’m okay with just the present.

and forgive our trespasses

She says I have nothing to be forgiven for.

as we forgive those who trespass against us;

I say I might believe her if she kisses me one more time.

and lead us not into temptation

I don’t say anything. She’s got a laugh bubbling up through her kiss.

but deliver us from evil.

I could swallow their poison and inhale their lies, but she’ll still be there by my side.


Amen. Amen. I’ll hold her like a prayer and kiss her like a hymn.

Prayer by Len de la Cruz - Texas, U.S.

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