The Parish by Ben Niespodziany

The Parish

The parish kicked down my door, invaded my kitchen, knocked over my favorite vase. Startled, I spilled a whole bowl of oatmeal on my suit coat. I was already late for work. The parish flipped my mattress, dug around my yard. It leapt over mouse traps in my basement and tripped over the lawnmower in my garage. “We are fine churchgoing people,” the parish whispered upon entering every room. “Do you know where our church might be?” I told the parish it was mistaken, at the wrong location. “This is my home,” I said. “We’re nowhere near a steeple.” The parish paid no mind to my replies and continued to hunt for an altar. “Might it be in the pantry?” it asked. “I’m incredibly late for work!” I replied. I hadn’t raised my voice in weeks. The parish spooned through my oatmeal in search of its church. “But where is the blood of Christ?” it asked. “You have to leave!” I screamed. The parish walked out back, checked the shed. “We are fine churchgoing people,” it said. I could tell it was willing to look forever. Through all of this, the parish squeezed my shoulder, kissed my cheek, made sure I remained seated and obedient like the first dog in space, the earth so very far away.


The Parish


Ben Niespodziany is a night librarian at the University of Chicago. He runs the multimedia art blog [neonpajamas] and has had work published in Paper Darts, Cheap Pop, Pithead Chapel, and various others. He hasn’t gone to church in ages.


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Art Marc Chagall Public Domain