My Best Friend, the Pastor's Daughter, Tells Me She's Concerned

Alice White | Poetry

I’ll go to hell if I die
right now, and she won’t
have saved me.

We’re hanging off a lone blue raft
in an oval swimming pool.

It’s true I’m found
at church on Sundays only after
sleepovers at her house.

But I’m such a good churchgoer
when I go—such a rapt listener
the whole sermon, such a good
complimenter of her dad
at lunch afterward.

I stand and clap along
to all the songs—smile, sing,
raise my arms in a V, close my eyes—
What more do they want?

I listen to her whole speech
as the raft spins itself
in slow circles,
moving the sun into my eyes
and out again.

She finally finishes,
is near tears.
Hard to tell with all the wetness.

I dunk my head into the water
and feel the cosmos shudder
somewhere deep beneath my feet.