Brand new gospel at the bottom of a river

Ani Bachan


During my second baptism, I played the role of the priest and the unsaved. My older sister’s mastery of the front crawl showed me the light, and enlightened, I freed myself of my father’s arms and made a cathedral of the neighborhood pool. I don’t remember drowning, or the two-piece suit my father ruined, but I know that when I took that first breath I was born again. Soaked in good news, I found certainty in the physical– a held breath made the body a stuck prayer, sweating on the tongue. A stubborn hangnail turned salvation to a question left unanswered; faith, now a flesh-made phenomenon. Religion, I found, burst from underarms and dripped from nostrils, school gyms and church basements renamed pious for porous. The first time I saw you, I thought he’s got God coming out of his ears! From this final baptism, I’ve discovered new scripture in the Christ-stained mattress: two unsaved bodies in all their wetness may fashion a new Jordan River, and blessed are they saved, over and over again.



Ani Bachan is a Toronto-based midwifery student and occasional writer. She has been previously published in Inlandia’s Online Journal, The Showbear Family Circus, F3LL Magazine, and Phantom Kangaroo.