Dear Austin,

By Brian Builta

A year after your death we keep receiving college brochures
telling you how nicely you’d fit at certain institutions, under a
pine I guess, or next to a Doric column. The earth would bear
you up. In youth group one of the leaders reads about Jesus
raising Lazarus from death. Lazarus’ sister says to Jesus, If you
had been here, my brother would not have died. Your sister leans over,
says Same. She may be pissed for some time. Sometimes we
think of you as Judas, hanging there, unused coins scattered at
your feet. For a minute it helped to think that God also lost
His son, but then, you know, the resurrection. I’ve been
assured by Fr. Larry Richards you are not in hell. Something
about full consent of the will. The way you made your grandma
heave, though, I’m not so sure. Still, I said a few hundred
thousand Divine Mercy Chaplets for you, so by now you
should be on some beach in Costa Rica blowing through a
palm toward a new day, rising.

Brian Builta lives in Arlington, Texas, and works at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth.

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