If God listened to sinners I would’ve
prayed my mind right a long time ago. Shortly after,
I was baptized by my own choice. How can I show
God I’m committed without practicing to drown?
—from “Praying in Terror”
If if the beginning “The Devil was forbidden to kill Job. Even / if Job wanted to die” and God protects him, are faith, service, and hope actually ideals held by God in the first place? Sometimes prayers seem like school bell alarms; they go off, but typically it’s just a drill. Just a facade. Just an act to create a Pavlovian response – and to all those who don’t follow suit will burn in the fire.
In Raych Jackson’s Even the Saints Audition (Button Poetry), we, the spectators, are the fallen. We are those who hear the questions, wait for the answers, and then wonder when “God will reward us for / suffering.” In three acts we are saint, sinner, and cross bearer for our own mission to simply survive. We are the picked scabs. We are the children of those who falter and call us by the wrong name. But we still believe. We still think there is hope. We still practice prayer because, by God, “I’m not dead yet.”
Raych Jackson brings us to church, and then brings us into her home, her bedroom, her world beneath the eyes of saints.