My brother makes lists of what he needs to live. He is down to a towel, a small rucksack, good socks, rice and beans and clementines, and flip-flops for strange showers. He wants to be a saint and the holiest travel light. Easier to press close to God wearing only a thin shirt and holding a short list of other loves. He worries, sharp-nosed and sweet, how much to treasure a sturdy hat or a stack of warm tortillas; he digs his fingers into the rocky, well-loved home soil. He’ll have to shake it off, so’s not to be weighed down on his way to heaven. In this late night during a visit home, our parents snore tenderly in a distant room. We do not speak of loving God more than one’s family, though we both know the rules; we do not speak of knees scarred by prayer. Loss and revelation both come in whispers: we do not speak.
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