God Is Going to Be Late to the Party

By R. Bratten Weiss

Featured Art by Taylor Kiser

God is going to be late to the party,
was the message we all got. At first
we were disappointed, then angry:
who does he think he is?

Then someone got the idea of popping
the special bubbly we’d saved for him.
We only live once, but God is living now
and forever, which means his champagne
will never go flat, and will always be
waiting for him. And which also makes
it especially rude for him to show up late.

God’s champagne goes down like you’re
drinking pure reason. Like you’re having
sex in Paris in the afternoon, while outside
bombs are going off, it’s that kind of movie
now. God’s champagne is a memento mori,
which means we might as well be swimming
up into each other’s bones like radiation.

Then we’re all dancing, throwing
confetti. Like the party in The Shining,
the party that never ends. What’s so
terrifying about that?

For a hundred years we go on dancing,
drinking the champagne, throwing confetti.
God is stuck in traffic or a snowdrift,
but he’ll be here soon enough, and we’ll
need to tidy up, smooth our hair, put our
best faces and our figleaves on. We’ll need
to try to explain.

R. Bratten Weiss is a freelance academic and organic grower residing in rural Ohio. Her creative work has appeared in numerous publications, including Two Hawks Quarterly, Presence, Connecticut River Review, Shooter, Seventh Wave, and Slipstream. Her chapbook Mud Woman, with Joanna Penn Cooper, was published in 2018, and her chapbook Talking to Snakes by Ethel in 2020. She is a two-time Pushcart nominee, and winner of the Helen Schaible Memorial Sonnet Contest, Modern category.

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