Clara B. Jones

Pizza And Pot Roast Make Me Think Of Jesus


Me: We were the only colored family in New Jersey that didn’t believe in god or several gods at once.


Mama: Polyatheists live mostly in urban communes tutoring poor children in math and the evils of Capitalism. Uncle James was a Communist who said atheists are revolutionaries because they earn less than feminists who wear combat boots to work.


Me: We lived in an Italian neighborhood surrounded by statues of the Virgin Mary that looked like Sophia Loren. Mrs. Gumina made pizza and prayed that we’d convert, but we joined the Unitarian Church on 6th Street that flew a rainbow flag on the roof.


Mama: At your wedding, we sang Nina Simone songs, Uncle James read the second chapter of Das Kapital, and your cake was frosted with seaweed cream.


Me: Black Lives Matter renounced Christ when William Barber invested in Exxon and stopped serving pork at his rallies. Deray McKesson said a loving god wouldn’t take lard from negroes.


Mama: We never ate lard because Uncle James was a vegan since Jesus served pot roast at The Last Supper, and…


Me: …and drank red wine with sulfites.


Mama: Yes, and atheists don’t celebrate Christmas, but we give presents anyway.


Clara B. Jones is a retired scientist, currently practicing poetry in Asheville, NC, USA. As a woman of color, she writes about the “performance” of identity and power and conducts research on experimental poetry. Clara is the author of two chapbooks, and her poems, reviews, essays, and interviews have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous venues.

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