telepathy exercises for (un)holy boys

in church, everyone could read each other's thoughts.
little televisions situated in each skull. my brother
playing a scene from a godzilla movie over & over 
& my father watching himself saw wood in the shed.
the priest picturing a field of bread. a cheese knife.
an arm chair. i am good at hearing those signals
but sending my own took practice. staring 
at windows & firing my heart like a water gun. 
i would look up at the ornate high church ceilings 
& picture them full of birds. dove & cardinal & jay.
bird feeders hanging from crosses. who doesn't want
to be suddenly holy? i wanted to talk without my teeth.
tried to send mind messages to another altar boy asking
"do you like me too? do you?" 
we held hands for the our father prayer.
mine, sweaty & too eager. his, cold & granite.
once, during the homily, i tried to tell my brother 
i want to be baptized again. i said in my head
"i don't know why i just want to see it happen."
he didn't respond. that's the thing though 
about telepathy. you can never know if your words land.
i feel like a farmer. planting greetings 
in other people's skulls. what i want is for someone
to answer back. for my skin to echo 
with a word just for me. no one does 
so just keep sending my paper airplane thoughts. 
when i felt brave one day i told the priest, 
"i do not believe in any of this." he kneeled at the altar.
he blessed the bread. he pretended 
not to hear me. i felt scared & so i lied
& took it back. "no, no i was just kidding."
everyone's thoughts swam. ducked under & over each other.
mass ended & we unspooled ourselves from our pews.
in the car ride home i said it again,
"no, no i was just kidding." i couldn't hear
anyone's thoughts anymore. the radio played
another song about god. 

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