What Would Jesus Eat? by Marissa McNamara

*Featured Image: “Fragmented” By Nora Beck

What Would Jesus Eat?

by Marissa McNamara

From the desk in the back room, hooked into the modem that charged us by the minute for internet time, he researched blenders and juicing, herbs and vitamins, minerals and powders. He researched what to take and not to take, what to stay away from and what to stay close to. He bought a Vita-Mix to juice with and declared that he could learn to like kale. He kept his research in a three ring binder along with the doctors’ notes copied from each visit, each test, each scan.

Research in hand, we drove to the health food store where the pills were not just Cs and Ds and Omega 3s but all kinds of thistle root and witchbane and elderberry, eucalyptus oils and apricot salves and dropper bottles.

The clerk was stringy and gray. “I recommend the Jesus diet,” she offered, as we explained our goals which were, mainly, for him to outlive cancer. “You eat only what Jesus ate.”

I pictured Mike at a long table eating unleavened bread and drinking wine. I pictured our kitchen counters and floors stacked to the ceiling with baskets overflowing with fish, with loaves piled like firewood. I remembered a reverend on The Jerry Springer Show who swore that the bible said that Jesus smoked pot, and I made a mental note of that for brownie ingredients.

I looked at her and wondered if this is how people looked in Jesus’ time. No wonder they needed miracles.

We told her we’d consider it.

On the way out, Mike said, “He was pretty young when he died, wasn’t he?”


Marissa McNamara teaches English composition and creative writing at Georgia State University where she is also a contributing poetry editor for The Chattahoochee Review. Her work has appeared in several publications including the anthologies On Our Own and My Body My Words and the journals RATTLE, Assisi, Melancholy Hyperbole, StorySouth, Future Cycle, The Cortland Review, and Amsterdam Quarterly. She lives in Atlanta with her three crazy dogs, one very patient boyfriend, and a flock of pink plastic flamingos.

Nora Beck's art comes from a place of becoming. She begins with a sketch that coalesces through different color forces into figures. These figures celebrate the motion and emotion of life. Beck studied painting with Antonio Postacchini in Bologna, Italy and with her Rosemarie Beck. She teaches music history at Lewis & Clark College and her scholarship examines the music and art of the late medieval Italy.

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