I dreamed of God in a newspaper hat
with a silhouette face like the PBS logo.
I couldn’t make paper hats at the time
so it was as so much magic.
He was flat of course
being a two-dimensional head
and deep in conversation with someone stage left.
They didn’t seem to notice me.
I think there was talk of a boat because
I remember wondering if the paper hat would get wet.
You might be guessing at subconscious ark symbolism
but all I could think about were paper boats
because people do that too
so there must be something to it.
All I knew of religion was the Our Father
which we had to say every night
as a family
holding sweaty hands with my brother
in a circle on the sticky living room rug that smelled of dog.
The sacred and sacrilegious always do end up together.
What I remember best from Sunday school
is the bright colors on the postcard from my neighborhood friend
and how special I felt to be invited.
There might have been juice and cookies.
I asked a question
probably prompted by my dad
—see what they say about that—
and the teacher frowned.
I never belonged in places where people went like clockwork
and everyone played their parts and wore the right costumes.
They will say you can come in
but it’s not the same.
The invitations always get crumpled in the end.