by Ryan Keating
My soul cringes a little. It worries that it might be cliché to admit that I want to be received into the arms of the Father- your fingers on my back, your breath on my neck, and your chin pressed to my shoulder, holding me like a good metaphor in a poem that makes me not want to let go and convinces me that I am loved. When I imagine that embrace long enough, I stop trying to find myself anywhere else. I am here and whole and no longer wondering if I belong. My soul unfolds like a crumpled straw wrapper with a drop of water on the table where I used to sit across from my dad eating French toast with warm syrup. I breathe you in for a long while and then release the kind of sigh that makes people ask what happened, exhaling the dust of a distant country and beginning to believe again that I have always been at home with you, where I can still be brand new, surrounded and filled to remain here and set out walking the long road as a son.
Ryan Keating is a writer, pastor, and winemaker on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. His work can be found in publications such as Saint Katherine Review, Ekstasis Magazine, Amethyst Review, Macrina Magazine, Fathom, Dreich, Vocivia, and Miras Dergi, where he is a regular contributor in English and Turkish.