The altar boy comes along the railing, gold communion plate steady in his hand. His blond hair falls to his eyebrows. It’s longer than what most clean-cut boys wear, those who, when they aren’t in church, hang around the school cafeteria in short-sleeve plaid shirts and khaki pants, but he’s in with that group, an athlete, a good student. He is exactly what Ricky Nelson would be if he, too, were an altar boy.
I am the penitent cleansed by confession, now filled with sinful longing, kneeling as still as I can, wearing my Jackie Kennedy mantilla, head slightly turned to the right so I can watch his face. He glances up, blue eyes meeting mine, and I shiver with what, lust? He places the paten beneath my chin. I lift my head, open my mouth. The priest places the body of Christ gently on my offered tongue. I feel its lightness there and bow my head and imagine the altar boy is touching me with his consecrated hands—or are they merely blessed?
We are in church, we are at the communion rail, I am kneeling in front of God, and I am thinking of this boy, his lips, his hands, and the electricity they generate between my legs. Is this a sin?