Julie the Astonishing (How She Discovered Christ Was a Metaphor)

The youth group leader did not fully

listen to the song “West End Girls”


His name was Matt and he wore khakis


When you’re married you can do whatever

you want he told them at Hardees


Smiled like a sparkling fox

She ate a biscuit


Later they ate long pretzel sticks

in the choir room and were prayed over


Dear Heavenly Father Jesus our Lord

and Savior I just


Bless these teens today Christ

I want you to lift


Open them Jesus God I ask that you do this


At the lock-in in an all-gold sweat suit

dear Heavenly Father


Bless this pizza to your use

Gratitude was hard


Thank you for this little hut in my chest


Forgiveness was easy

She had done so many things wrong


Please make sure the candle stays lit

Don’t leave me here


The lights off and the sound of crying

Thank you for holding me in this light


Then a hallway opened inside her blood

Julia Story is the author of Post Moxie (Sarabande Books), winner of the Ploughshares 2010 John C. Zacharis First Book Award, and a chapbook, The Trapdoor (dancing girl press). Her recent work can be read at Sixth Finch, Gulf Coast, and Diode. She is 2016 recipient of a Pushcart Prize and lives in Somerville, MA with her husband and two Dachshunds.