This One is a Waterfall

Chelsie Blair Nunn

the only time I ever 

felt safe within the sanctuary of 

a church was when I was being 

chased by a pack of wild dogs 

holy home plate

safe, under the blankets

at night with the ghosts standing all around 

the feeling of having a proper basement 

during a tornado, that’s the relief 

I felt when I ran inside those propped 

doors, my parents already unloaded 

equipment for the altar

plugging in cords here and there

my hands outstretched to Heaven

eyes turned to the sky

backed against the foyer wall

beads of sweat trickling down my face 

or tears, I’m not sure

Chelsie Blair Nunn is a LGBTQIA+ artist and public educator working in Knoxville, TN. She has served as a public visual art educator and mentor for the past ten years. She is a founding member of the artist collaborative formerly known as The Vacuum Shop Studios, where she practiced painting for the past seven years. This particular manuscript is an excerpt from her current work in progress, which chronicles her queer rural childhood, growing up in a gospel family. Her writing has previously been featured in The Quaranzine: Poetry in the Time of Covid-19 (Fearsome Critters 2020), Decomp Journal (Issue 1 2021), and Tofu Ink Arts Press (Spring 2021 Contributors).