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Nathan Graziano

Born on Good Friday

I skipped the noontime mass on Ash Wednesday,
my forehead unblemished by the priest’s thumbprint.

I ate seven meatball subs for each day of Holy Week
while any good Catholic would’ve been fasting,

snuggling up with their hunger pains, constipated.
Instead, I held The Last Supper in my own kitchen.

Judas was drinking my beer and belching his prayers
while Paul lost at solitaire, aching for a corndog.

A commercial for Catholics Come Home came on 
the television between innings of the Sox game.

A clean-cut Christian guy, sober and fat, attested
to reconnecting with Christ, like a Facebook friend,

and it changed his life. Meanwhile, in a still-frame
beside him, there was a picture of a slovenly man,

thinner with mustard on his shirt—the former heathen 
with bloodshot eyes and hair like weeds around a crucifix.

“There he is,” I said to Peter, who was strictly a pothead.
“He’s our thirteenth apostle, and he’s bringing the ham.”

But we all realized that thirteen was an unlucky number,
and Lent was never my thing, so we called for a pizza.

“Nate?” Paul called while flipping a card. “Weren’t you
born on Good Friday?” I put my finger to my lips.

Nathan Graziano lives in Manchester, New Hampshire, with his wife and kids. His books include Teaching Metaphors (Sunnyoutside Press), After the Honeymoon (Sunnyoutside Press) Hangover Breakfasts (Bottle of Smoke Press in 2012), Some Sort of Ugly (Marginalia Publishing in 2013), and My Next Bad Decision (Artistically Declined Press, 2014) and Almost Christmas (Redneck Press, 2017). A novella titled Fly Like the Seagull will be published by Luchador Press in 2020. Graziano writes a baseball column for Dirty Water Media in Boston and he was, indeed, born on Good Friday. For more information, visit his website: www.nathangraziano.com.  

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