The Bombed Out Sublime – Ivy Reitz

Adam and I edge through the wrought-iron gates that guard St. Lukes; a neo-gothic church bombed during the 1941 Liverpool Blitz. He carries my Tacoma guitar in one hand and reaches for my fingers with the other. We make our way to the groves, genuflect to the ground, our knees rub against the dew.

The bible states that God made the world in seven days, but on Mays’ day it took Man only seven nights to destroy four thousand worlds. St. Luke’s, although gutted, survived; and while the church no longer has windows, the graveyards do.

Pine and diesel simmer in the darkness and I lick at the leftover coke that freckles my lip. I grab the guitar and begin to play “Falling Slowly.” The film Once is the impetus that drove me to run away from rehab with my rehab boyfriend.

‘Take this sinking boat and point it home…We’ve still got time’ my falsetto cracks on the chorus. Adam rises, leans against a tree and lights his Marlboro time-bomb. A beetle crawls out from the bark and wiggles up his arm. ‘F—-!’Adam squeals.

I put down my guitar and reach for the eightball hidden in my denim pocket. I feel cold, but not from the wind. The problem with Cocaine, like many things in this world, is its ephemerality. Adam and I move to an outside corner of the church; the cherry, like a votive, provides enough light for us to draw our lines behind a crumbling wall covered in ivy. After, we lie, high on the ground; my hard guitar case as our pillow. I prickle in the English wind. The stars are bright tonight, and the absence of a roof only makes us feel closer to them.

About the Author:
IM Reitz received her BA in English from The University of Dubuque and would love to earn her MFA in creative writing. She dreams of traveling the world and capturing the stories of those unable to share their own. In her free time, she sings, plays guitar, dances to the Fitness Marshall, and is a semi-professional, competitive plant waterer. See more of her work at

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