At a coffee shop in Rogers Break it like communion bread, my best friend said of the coffee cake, thick gluten-free and afternoon cold. My fingers stalled on the spongey dough, sugar granules pressed into skin. Don’t make this holy, I said, that stresses me out, stared at the snake- skin swirl of cinnamon through its center. I might have scrambled for a pen, cast my hands to a pocket notebook, scribbled words that would become a poem about how a piece of coffee cake becomes a holy thing, leaving sticky ridges on the page because I couldn’t pause to rub the sugar from my fingers. But not anymore. Anxiety is the absence of surrender, pride the alienation of holiness, and my halted hands pull this bread in two pieces, brush the crumbs from my skin, offer her the half with less sugar because she is more health-conscious than I. The blogs tell me anxiety is not punishment, not an enemy, but a catalyst for deeper faith in the One who tested Job when he was faithful, banned Moses from the Promised Land. Why shouldn’t I ask to be whole again? How am I to pray, Lord, break me like communion bread.
McKinley Dirks grew up in Castle Rock, Colorado and now resides in Northwest Arkansas with her one-year-old corgi, Bentley. She received her Bachelor’s of English from John Brown University and spent much of her time there as editor-in-chief of the student-run publication Shards of Light. In addition to poetry, she enjoys art, flower bouquets, and mysteries.