I've discovered Hell, and the truth is,
It isn't a place you go, it's a sickness.
It resides within your bones
And its scaffolding is made from trauma.
The only fire you'll find is from the white-hot flashbacks
That leave you drenched in sweat that smells like smoke.
No-one lives there except you and your enemies,
And your enemies are fragments of history, unable to be killed.
Your mind is the devil that subjects you to punishment
That you can't help but be convinced that you deserve,
And escape is a notion kept only for tears;
Everything else remains trapped.
Hell is being held within the cage of your own body
And killing yourself trying to break free.
I broke up with God
at our favorite eatery
in our favorite booth.
We settled into familiar creases
and asked for the usual.
My eyes lazily staring at fingers
stirring the straw around the ice cubes,
God cautiously spoke up:
“Is something wrong?”
“Nothing.” (Thinking about the dormant phone
concealing behind the lock screen
the open Facebook tab
lingering over the relationship status section.)
They silently mused over the laconic reply,
til the waitress showed up with the food.
“Thank you!” God blurted with agonizing alacrity.
I received the sustenance lifelessly
and aimlessly poked at the burgers and fries.
The waitress eyed me with vague inquisition,
popping a bubble in the gum between
big teeth, refilled my water
and pirouetted hastily.
We ate in ostensible harmony,
the silence gripping like a chokehold,
the visible anxiety and subdued resolve
settling like a stifling blanket
over the child waking
from a nightmare—
Til we couldn’t breathe,
and I ripped back the covers
and looked into the eyes
of my tormentor.
“It’s not you, it’s me.”
God, taken aback by the curt statement,
dropped their burger with shaking hands,
silently begging with wetting eyes
a greater explanation.
So I elaborated:
“It’s not you, it’s me.
For your immaculate conception
was created by human hands,
your adages rendered obsolete
by human words,
your purpose and plan for us
distorted by human nature—
I cannot hate myself any longer.
I cannot pretend to know you at all.
Who my mother and father say you are
is not who my friends think you are,
nor my teachers, my pastor,
the president, Stephen Hawking,
Muhammed, the KKK, Buddha,
the Westboro Baptist Church,
Walt Whitman, Derek Zanetti,
and Billy Graham.
I am told you care who I bring into bed (and when),
and what movies I watch,
and what music I listen to—
I have not heard what you say about
child soldiers, the use of mosquitos,
or the increased destruction of the earth
which you proudly proclaimed your creation,
or the poverty and disease and famine
which has ridden so many of your children—”
“But you’re chosen!”
“You say I’m chosen
to spend eternity with you—
Why’d you pick me among
thousands, millions, billions?
I’ve been told I’m ‘chosen’
by others like me—
those with fair complexion,
a firm overt sexual attraction towards women,
and a great big house
with immaculate white fences
delineating their Jericho.
I’ve already fabricated eternity
here among the other ‘chosen’
and there is a world of suffering
right outside the fence
and I see them
through the window of my bedroom
Am I chosen,
if I don’t vote Republican
Am I chosen
if I am Pro-Choice
Am I chosen
if I cohabitate with my girlfriend
Am I chosen
if I never have kids
Am I chosen
if I say ‘Happy Holidays’
Am I chosen
if I don’t want public prayer in schools
Am I chosen
if I don’t want a Christian nation
Am I chosen
if I don’t repost you on my wall
or retweet your adages?
being the ubermensch,
for it has not brought me
and I blame you.
I will not ignore
the cries of the suffering
believing it is I
who is destined to live
I will not buy
Joel Osteen’s autobiography(ies).
I will not tithe
you my money
for a megachurch
when another homeless shelter
I will not tell a woman
what to do with her body,
or a man
that he is a man
if they say they are not.
I am neither Jew nor Gentile,
and I will stand with
my brothers and sisters
of Faith and Faithlessness,
Gay and Straight,
Black and White,
and apart from these extremes
free from absolutes
the ambiguous, amorphous
nature of Humankind
which I praise.
There is much pain and suffering
in this world,
but hardly can I believe
it’s part of your plan
I will not be saved
if we are not
not one will burn
for my divinity.
The gates will be open to all—
and perhaps you believe that too,
but I’ve gotten you all wrong
and that cannot change,
as long as there is
God whined, growing bellicose,
“It is through me that you will find eternity,
I am the one true god!
I am the God of your fallen ancestors,
it is because you have fallen short
that you need me!”
I replied, growing in confidence,
“We have all fallen short,
but we are also magnificent.
We have evolved,
we have created,
we have adapted,
we have survived.
We have built empires,
and we have destroyed them.
We have cured diseases,
and we have created them.
We have done much in your name.
We’ve done good,
and we’ve done evil—
And unfortunately it’s all about
who you ask.
Your name is a burden on the oppressed
and a weapon of the oppressor.
You are abusive, God.
You tell me you are jealous.
You tell me apart from you I will suffer for an eternity.
I’m scared to die, yet want to die,
because of you.
You have made life a waiting room
that is now my purgatory. It is
Hell On Earth.
So you see,
it’s not you,
a mere mortal
who has tried to put a face
and it has left me
for I have learned to love me,
as I have expelled your self-loathing imbibition,
and the deleterious zeal
I have proclaimed
I have learned to love me
by realizing I am not inherently evil,
that my body is not evil,
that my mind is not evil,
and, ultimately, that
there is no good
and there is no evil.
My body is beautiful,
my mind is beautiful,
this world is beautiful,
and we are destroying it
waiting for you to claim
I leave you
in hopes to see you
again one day,
and perhaps you will look
different than I have
perceived or imagined,
and in fact
I certainly hope so.”
Just then the waitress strolled back up
with a servile smile:
“No, thank you,”
I smiled politely.
And with that,
I paid the check,
and took a to-go box—
walked out into the evening rain
to my car,
put on a secular song
that meant something real to me
and drove off
into the night—
feeling for the first time
Sometimes at night
asleep by the firelight
I dream about them
how they died
some are singing
and others saying what
they no longer see
limping as if in pain
some of them handsome
and some mysterious
silent but not
for long they tell you
men scarcely know
how beautiful fire is
and old stories
they can't remember
unless you can
still look them in the eye.
-- when I have the tenderness of a writhing dragon,
he will paint flowers across my throat
as though to remind me that fires are indelicate,
and that I writhe in a prison made of open space.
-- this man will not smother me with his skin
when we sleep.
-- this man will unhinge the door of my mouth,
and kiss out the bullets stuck under my tongue.
whatever thousandth day I awaken beside this man,
realizing I have become the flowers he painted
across my throat, by braving my throat,
I will, unchaining myself from the draconic worry,
bring him his coffee in bed, with a smile.
Who would have thought it would come like a tidal wave descending so quickly crashing in rippling rushes
It's as if the darkness is transparent in the fog
yet clever enough to intrigue you
so it leaves you curiously eyed captured through the lens while deceitfully drooling
So vulnerable one is
surrendering to the waves
Completely astounding were the enveloping hollow soundings thumping mashing thrashing
Dull in their seashell roar forevermore destined to return awash
In musical score
That rhythm to beat
fading to crescendo till
the ending at the beach....
I wake at 4 am and
Paint my nightmares in red
My brush strokes carry ruby droplets across
A white stretched canvas
While I sit in the dark
Absorbed in the flood
I sit on the sink ledge
Shaking under stark bright light
My lips part to let sighs and
Silent cries tumble out
Tears cascade down my cheeks
Quivering fingertips grasp into my pale flesh
I scare myself
I look in the mirror and face my present
While all I see is my past
Fogging my vision and haunting me
The future flirts with my senses and hopes
But my thoughts are a cold dungeon I cannot seem to escape
My mind and body are tattooed with sorrow's signature
All I want is to feel free
Swallow down this sadness that constantly overtakes me
I want to be loved
To be vulnerable and fearless
Share the chaos that floods my depths
Let my wildness free
To grow and develop
Into all I know I have the ability to be
*Thank you everyone for the kind words, support, and love <3!!!