With crystal to push, two tweakers wait in the church parking lot for the NA meeting to let out. It’s Lent. It’s sixty degrees, so sweaters have turned a shade of pink, a spring camouflage. Wendy’s advertises its fish sandwich. I am a camel that has wandered the desert and am none the more godlike. What else is there to go without? Parking spaces? A few parishioners arriving for Stations of the Cross fill what is left of this little lot. Someone will have to walk. Ascending from the basement, middle-aged men, dried out like last year’s palms, light cigarettes, turn away from the fasting sun. I drive back to some anemic desert, or settle for a beach, water too salty to drink. I’m too parched not to.

JOHN HART was born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas. He currently resides in Winter Park, Florida.