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redemptioneer Dec 2020
I’ll kiss you still
On your way out the door
I’ll let this love **** me
If it’s all I’m living for

Were you ever mine?
Or just a figment, a dream:
A promise of goodness and freedom
In the empty echoes of me

Can I still touch you
In the bright candlelight?
And better still in the darkness
When I peer into the night

I think I’m breaking
I think I’m your mistake:
The piece to the wrong puzzle,
The thing you have to break

Can you ever love me
The way I need you to?
Or you could just hold me
Until I melt into you

Don’t make me beg
For you to just stay,
Though I know you
And you’ll just leave anyway
redemptioneer Nov 2019
sometimes i trick my body into becoming something else    something unrecognizable
i tell it to sleep peacefully or   to remember the embrace of a friend long gone

often the body becomes a symbol of what was lost
a friend a childhood a reason   i tell myself the bruises are just autographs or love notes   they never stay but i convince my body to feel them   still  
is this desperation or just another species of grief?

i have discovered so many that i’ve run out of names
“crying on the side of the highway overpass”
or “a sound i did not recognize as my own until months later”
or “a dream i had once but wish for still every night”
or “picturing his broken hands folded over a lifeless belly covered by a worn football sweatshirt”

sometimes i believe in ghosts   i was taught to fear the sacrilegious  but i lost faith since    

january has been ten months long    the chill follows me no matter how far i run

sometimes i trick my body into becoming something else    but mostly i trick it into becoming an unremarkable hollow thing
redemptioneer Mar 2019
Night time becomes a hymn in itself,
sleep a prayer I have long forgotten.
My hands clenched in a fist,
crinkling the prayer card until
his smile folds in half
like that miserable metal frame.

I un-crinkle and smooth quickly,
taking his face in the palm of my hand
and look again to his sleeping body.
I weep. Silently. My prayers
are just a string of vowels:
no god or heaven ever mentioned.
There is only sleep and
please wake.

There is no waking for me or for him.
There is only the wrinkled prayer card
and one last glance before I turn away
and resume the journey home.
In honor of my cousin, Donovan. You are so missed.
redemptioneer Nov 2017
Forward the crowd marches
toward their god. He is
not mine. No god of mine
lets his creations bleed
themselves dry.
My God sheds a tear this night,
lets it roll down His cheek,
down the neck,
down like this city.
Stray dogs whining lullabies or hymns,
wolves' teeth flickering
in torchlight.
What boy ever cried out for this.
Not I. Not I the girl
with a tendency
to catch fire,
not I girl with a fear of breaking.
Forward the crowd marches
until the blood dries.
The rain pours from God's chin and
we pretend to cleanse ourselves of sin.
The dogs and wolves alike
shake their fur.
How easy it must be to call ourselves human.
How hard it must be to admit ourselves animals.
My God says
He created us to fill something:
anything but this.
The crowed marches forward
until the torches are swallowed by torches.
What human, what animal, what god
lets a good city burn.
What color must every creation bleed
to admit ourselves just that.
Never have I wanted to write a politically-charged poem, but the extreme ignorance and blatant racism around me has changed my view.
redemptioneer Sep 2017
Mom says I entered the world blue     unmoving like a cracked starling egg     I entered the world without a sound     though Mom says she saw the noise    

Each time we drive past the hospital    I am reminded of how much it cost     to keep me here     I think     my parents want their money back     I think     I want to stop being blue
Last summer Mom cried when she saw it:     a baby robin     fallen from its nest,     still pink and fleshy — not blue, still moving — and it cried for her   I could barely hear it     but Mom saw the noise     She listened for a moment more     then smiled    
Something inside me went cold     as we walked away to the sound of eggshells     cracking
redemptioneer Sep 2017
do you feel the god in this room / can you feel jesus watching us / from the piece around your neck / your cologne tangled in the air / breathe / can a body ever be more than just that / can we ever be more than just this / god says not now / a prayer i used to know so well hanging from your teeth / you monster you wolf with a smile you sinner / you ripped the holy parts from my body / left a god shaped hole in my chest / i close my eyes and pray / do you feel the god in this room / this cathedral burning / our bodies covered in ash and cologne / breathe / we never have to be more than just this
redemptioneer Sep 2017
if the body is a vessel
i carry you with me everywhere
through the rain and across the oceans
i carry you
because you are all this vessel has to keep
from drowning

let your hands pull me up from the holy water
kiss me in spite of sunday
kiss me in spite of everything
breathe life back into this body
breathe into this sail i hold
take me anywhere but up

kiss me in spite of heaven
kiss me to find it
let this love hit your jawbone and crack
the stained glass
blue and red and gold reflecting
on our uncovered bodies vessels
two lights burning despite the rain
despite the storm brewing in the distance
i carry you

send me to sea
send me to see more
than this brown-gray confessional

i carry you with me everywhere
through the church and up the aisle
i carry you
because you are all this vessel has to keep
from sinking
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