Saints in Limbo
Copyright 2015-2016 by Kyle Hemmings. All rights reserved.
Cover art by Kyle Hemmings
Interior layout by Robert Louis Henry
Leaf Garden Press
Versions of these pieces have been published in Map Literary, Wintergreen Review, and International Flash
Table of Contents
Neighborhood girls loved his thick hands, hairy & double-knuckled. He entertained shark-women by making collapsible churches with his fingers. Nobody laughed or fainted. A divorced friend of his mother said, “I could screw you like a hex-head.” He failed at numbers or at keeping promises to God. He vented sexual frustrations by pissing in graveyards or becoming addicted to porno films with ex-child stars of the 90s. When his life flat-headed, he said God, the time has come. At the church where he dispensed penance along with free candy, he couldn’t look any nun in the eye for fear they could tell he wasn’t a virgin. He kept his vision shifted upwards but. He suffered nosebleeds & wet stains. It went unmentioned during confessions. There were rumors of a mid-western twister heading towards the core of his sanctuary. The proctor couldn’t control his bladder. Red-faced altar boys patted down stiff cowlicks before kneeling with creaky joints. Satan-worship was espoused by a young schizophrenic nun with hair on her chin. The church collapsed. The tornado swept up old habits. Cleo’s fingers were stiff but still good. They would rebuild.
He was a thunderstruck kid who shredded kites & tight underwear but still believed he was meant for God. If he could walk out of himself, just a soul without a bone, would he have the same name or be as clueless as a body that could not be saved? One night, he dreamed he floated up. St. Peter descended half-way down & said, “Sorry, for the time being, no immigrants are allowed to cross the border. God is in a solipsist state of mind. With foul breath too.” Stanislaus tumbled back to earth, woke up with a thud and a damaged hard-on. In his post-grad years, he met a woman with vertically-challenged inhibitions & elephantine lust-schemes. In a queen-size bed, he asked her, “Is heaven an eternal orgasm?” She pressed his face to her breasts, size XXX, & whispered, “I think it’s better if delight comes in discontinuous frequencies.” Her heart-rhythms vibrated inside his head. Middle-aged & bored as an angel, he became a celibate so he could have an occasional fall. She neutered the dog. St. Peter continued to send him updates by e-mail.
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