Let’s Let Poetry Talk.

The following are two poems I wrote last summer, in the thick of my spiritual turmoil, which I hope reflect the seeds of my discontent (and how happy I can be now).

Between 

In the starry nights and sweaty mattresses

Between July 11th and August 18th

I fell in love.

I cradled a human head while drunk and sober,

Felt a human heart squeeze in the dark, and

Even let human lips kiss me in the sunlight.

I watched him floss his teeth

And fall asleep.

I shared his wineglass when mine ran dry

And wiped the sleep from his eyes.

I missed him when he was gone

And ached from laughter when he was home.

I said yes,

Gave the most intimate of me,

Took the most innocent of him.

When I told him yes

I meant the word with every cell,

Too sure to ask what I always did—

“Are you sure?”

 

In the drunken giggles and green-brown eyes

Between July 11th and August 18th

I was crucified.

For the crime of loving someone

I was made to march, to be

Locked in the office of a man behind a desk

The size of the ocean,

A man with a tie pointing

Straight up to heaven,

Who asked me how I want my children to be born

Because I’m nineteen and female

And my future is all the man sees.

The man pointed to pictures of Jesus

While telling me how to get on my knees and

Lick the blood from His holy feet.

For the crime of loving a human

That wasn’t already dead,

I had to pray the human feelings in my human heart

Away.

I had to think of faceless children cheering

And conduct myself by their dictations.

I had to not give up.

I had to not start playing for Satan.

 

In the twisting fingers and trembling whispers

Between July 11th and August 18th

I had to figure out why

Loving another person with

All of my person was something

God never meant for me to do.

.

.

.

Sinner’s Sabbath 

I would like to emphasize that you can’t spell “Sabbath”

Without “bath.”

I sure could use a bath day.

I sure could use a day to sleep until noon,

To write letters by hand,

To water flowers and sit.

I sure could use some time

To read poetry by a window,

To spread under covers with another,

To study the art of breathing.

 

If the Sabbath is the God-given day to rest

Why can’t I rejuvenate my soul my own way?

Why should I put on skirts that squeeze,

Shoes that dig and burn,

To file in with a mob

And pay more attention to a man than the

Words coming out of his mouth?

 

No—

My soul will feel better

Listening to leaves kiss and

Watching steam spiral from my mug.

I’ll focus on this life while you

Spend bath day figuring out what comes

After.

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