A Tiny Singularity

by Aislyn Gilbert

My sister divulged one night over sips of
cooling coffee in a cheap café
That sometimes, when she prayed,
if the room was still enough and the
wind was silent on the windowsills,
She could hear the voice of God.

"It doesn't echo," she whispered, glancing
left, right,
for eavesdroppers.
"You'd expect it to, but it doesn't.
It's like a tiny singularity. This pinprick of
light in the back of my head."

I nodded along, more interested in the crumbs my
blueberry muffin was flinging around the tabletop.
Nothing was ever that quiet.

I know. I tried one afternoon in desperation,
needing some giant, fatherly hand to hold.
The papery swish, swish of the curtains,
the grinding of my teeth, trying to focus.
No amount of concentration let my mind
go empty and the voice never came.
If I couldn't do it, I doubted she could.

But... she was right about that pinprick.
I could see it, there in her dark eyes like a
midnight campfire,
a deep-within smoldering that fluorescent lights in
lonely cafés could never match.
A burning I recognize in me, of looking up at thousands
of golden stars and knowing they're destroying
themselves all the time,
Of dancing in a thunderstorm until
seeing the lightning,
Of long Spring grass between bare toes,
Of cooling coffee,
A rising, lifting in my lungs
as breathtakingly huge and as intimately small
as the voice that doesn't echo,
The leaping, soaring, the all-consuming up of it all,
deep in my belly where the doubt sits.

My sister smiles then, the embers in her eyes flaring.
"So you've heard it, too."