Thread-bare as a Habit

Suzanne Nielsen

I called for Timothy out of habit.  It’s only shy of six months since he
left without a forwarding address.  I think of him, his snow white hair,
cowlick dead center revealing his widow’s peak, drenched with sweat the
last hours before the end.  When wet it gleaned a baby blue hue, such a boy
who early on knew his sexual identity would cling to a crucifix in spite of Florence,
the aunt who married Christ early in her twenties, a virgin like Mary with a traveling

God loves all his children, she said while caressing her habit, thread-bare, sent to her
from the address of the pope.  We are all deserving of contentment, she said barely
her mouth as though there was something decadent about the idea.  I tell her in life
is as thread-bare as her cotton habit, and the best one can hope for is a place of
supreme solitude.
Are you there my friend, warm to the touch, content in the thought that all that
perspiration led to a contented end?


Suzanne Nielsen teaches writing at Metro State University in Minnesota's twin cities.

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