EFFIGIES - eric bennett


eric bennett

You collect statues of Jesus. Line them neatly on every ledge in your shrinking flat. You arrange them – rearrange them until the order is right. One Jesus, two Jesus, red Jesus, blue.

You set the plastic sacred-heart Jesus on the mantle next to the-Lord-is-my-shepherd Jesus with bronzed lambs. You shift the three inch high replica of Michelangelo’s Pieta so their spoon-smooth faces capture the ambient light. You position, reposition, and position again until there’s a shape to the silence between you and the icons.

Even though you’re an atheist you believe in God. But you surmise he doesn’t believe in you. So, you gather his images and arrange them throughout the apartment. You require his manifest presence – his eyes on you.

You stand silent in the center of the room. Lift your hands shoulder high, palms out. Listen to the silent thunder of the Lord of hosts and know the statue alignment is ideal. Your mouth rarely smiles but inside your brain, you smile.

All eyes are on you. Reaching deep into your mouth and scooping out a prayer, you speak into the hush. You begin, “Now that I have your attention...”