We were boys, once.
Our mother liked to dress us in tailored suits and leather shoes.
Every Sunday morning. Ready bright and early for mass at 11.
We'd sit in the classroom at the back of the old church hall.
After mass. After the chatter of voices hushed down to whispers; virtuous gossip.
Our teacher fed us images of hellfire and brimstone.
Sex and sin.
Satan in a red cape and Halloween horns.
He didn't always look like that.
Oh, no. Mother said that he'd come out all dressed in a suit like mine.
He'd be handsome! His voice would be a choir of one billion damned souls and once you'd hear it, you'd never want it to stop.
In my eight-year-old mind, I wondered what he did and what he felt when his own father cursed his name.
Did he stare at his dad with his thousand-eyes? Did he protest?
Did he laugh as he fell? In a cascade of feathers and blood.
Maybe he was better off without him.
He'd spend the rest of eternity trying to prove his father wrong. That he was worthy of his love:
That he would be the only son to grieve for the mistake of humanity.
The holy adversary.
The one who would shout his love for The Lord until his throat cracked dry and his chest ached. He, who could see the suffering of his father's own creations.
He, who tempted Eve and proved God wrong and we were flawed from the very beginning. Did he watch Eve eat the apple and savor every bite?
He loved his father.
Did he deserve it?
I stopped going to church on my eighteenth birthday.
What kind of parent would damn one son and praise the other?
Who would let one son be nailed to a board and the other to rot in flames?
Even as a child, I knew.
Through every slap, scold and bruise.
I would never bow.
You spoke me into raindrops, daisies, and fear.
You whispered the universe into my bloodstream,
Marked my body with stardust.
And when storm clouds could not
pull the tides,
created waves of indecision,
And an earthquake in my chest,
You called a tsunami a shower
when I couldn’t swim.
When the world goes dark,
As night turns to day,
I remember that even the moon forgets its purpose,
without the sun to light its way.
You loved my flowers,
But didn’t expect the weeds.
As though the stars shine bright only for your whim and need.
God was so kind.
Branches with apples
Than you could reach;
You planted apples
You plucked me from my own
home and left only weeds.
You loved roses but didn’t want the thorns.
And when a tree falls
but no one cares enough to listen,
that I am not a tree
planted by your disposition
and watered by your compliments.
You cannot rush a bud
and you cannot make
a baby bird spread its wings.
You cannot will
the universe to do your bidding
and I cannot force you
to look into my eyes
and see the galaxies.
God was so kind.
The one part missing father, the other part sad mother.
The accidental creation of a monster.
The addict of toxins only ingested by trolls.
You didn’t teach me how to love.
How was i supposed to know how to look at her?
You made my mother cry.
How was i supposed to know how to hold her?
You made my mother yell.
Instead, you taught me what not to do.
You taught me
“ Don’t go missing at night without calling her “
You taught me
“ Don’t bring another lady to your kids school to pick them up “
You taught me
“ Don’t yell at her, she’s scared. “
You taught me what not to do.
I taught me what to do.
I love like it was my job handed to me by the gods themselves.
I love like he just rolled over in bed and his bedhead is my favorite.
I love like taking cool showers on warm days.
I love like let me take you to dinner.
I love like this flower, this ocean, this world, reminds me of your eyes.
But i hate.
I hate you.
I’m not mad at you.
I’m not upset with you.
I just hate you.
You created this and every time i see your face in mine, i want to hide.
You had a secret
But you wore it on your sleeve
For all the world to learn from
And all the world to see
A heart that was kind
And gentle, but strong
A heart that stayed open
And sang its own song
A heart that saw goodness
And was truly good
A heart that always had faith
And encouraged others when it could
A heart that shared extraordinary memories
And inspired me to make my own
A heart that listened
And supported me as I have grown
A heart that loved her family
And touched everyone she met
A heart that made you feel special
In ways that you could never forget
A heart that’s now up in heaven, where it belongs
Because it was a heart of an angel all along
Wide awake, though I was sure I was going to slip into the dark of unconsciousness the moment I reached the mattress
Lying there, I listened to the sound of other people dreaming
My own mind wandering around today, tomorrow, and the unknown
I felt strangely calm, as if knowing somehow that everything I ever worried about, whether it happened or not, was purely irrelevant
Because, whatever tomorrow or the next day may bring, I know I will walk through whatever awaits me
I know I will face joy and pain and that we will laugh and cry and argue, just as we always have
My life is changing, but I will not desperately attempt to keep what is not mine
Some things and some people we are only borrowing for a while
I feel, in my heart, that this is not the end of my reality, just a reality
And I'm perfectly alright with that
Mama, come try to deliver me;
I've been a rubber baby
Father, come try to educate me;
I've been your no-good
since I turned thirteen.
Please, Lord, find the redemption in me --
I've grown weary of the way worry
boils, brews, and eats me slow.
See, friend, I can feel, too;
I used to let you down because
that's all I thought I knew
what to do.
Sister, angel, become bloodshot
at the way I hang; swaying
from the bedroom tree.
Sometimes I mistake my
bad brains for rotting fruit;
mushy peaches, doused in
fishbowl alcohol and
worries I can't shoo.
Good God, Lord,
what am I to do?
what am I to say?
I've failed you so.
I'm sorry I'm made this way.
I'm just a young boy unaware
of the stretcher
I think is a bed;
Bad brains make the
star-kid in my head.
I was once a young girl,
cast aside by my father.
No gift was I to him
instead, merely a bother.
The man who should have been
the first love of my life,
he took half my heart in hand
and cut it with a knife.
For years I denied the theft,
content in my mistrust.
Yet the rest of me died by my hand,
in leaving my heart to rust.
Ages I spent mourning this death,
never having been more wrong.
Now I see my heart remains,
my true love was me all along.
Running fingers over the ridges of your rib cage
Sliding gently down your spine
Feelings linger over the bridges of time and age
Your beautiful eyes are divine.
Tightly woven fabrics define your curvature
Patterns carve out your mind
Brightly colored magicks entwine our pleasure
Tattered edges by design.
Dreadlocks twisting like branches from a tree
Matted blonde bow ties.
The shock that kissing you causes in me
Goosebumps couldn't lie.
Our time here, together, is sacred to me
I pray for daily reminding
Our childhood fears doused in good company
The Lovers light is shining.