115 Psaltery & Lyre: Matthew LaBrot, “Sacred Heart”

sacred heart

Sacred Heart

I see Jesus
on an LED prayer candle
in the home décor section of Super Target.

He’s pointing to His heart
which seems to hover,
curiously centered in His chest.

The light of the world
on aisle fifteen for
nine dollars and eighty-nine cents.

I lay the candle in my cart
beside a loaf of bread
and a sweet-smelling, slightly-bruised mango.

At the checkout counter,
the cashier gently wraps the candle
in paper wine bags to keep it safe.

When I get home,
I remove two AAA batteries
from the TV remote

and place them just beneath
the feet that were nailed to a tree.
I recite the included Prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

and spend the rest of the night wondering
if this glowing, anatomically incorrect version of
Christ can comfort me or keep me safe.


Matthew LaBrot is the Agatha Award-winning co-author of the Zeke Armstrong Mystery novels for kids. His short fiction has appeared in HUMID 6 and HUMID 7. A singer-songwriter with two albums to his credit, LaBrot lives in Dallas with his wife.