Volume 14 • Number 2 • Fall-Winter 2022-2023

Conor Barnes

You Believe Several Things

You believe several things about yourself, but if put to the test, you’d be surprised how much is wrong. You know you aren’t a saint but you suspect you’re better than most. You forgive others easily so that they will forgive you easily.

If you were told in a dream that you could know if you’re going to heaven or hell, you would be afraid. But before you woke up, you would ask.

Here’s what would happen next: an angel would descend and you would very politely ask him to tell you. He would ask for your self-evaluation first. The light of heaven would be pouring from behind him. He would be fatherly and near-omniscient and you would have the slightest hint of the majesty of his god. And yet you would still bend the truth on your self-evaluation. And before you lifted the pen, you would forget you had fibbed. And when the angel told you you were going to hell, you would forget the dream.

Conor Barnes is a Canadian writer living in Halifax. His fiction has been published in White Wall Review, Potato Soup Journal, and Literally Stories. His poetry has been published in Modern Haiku, Frogpond, and Puddles of Sky Press.