This is the cup of the new and everlasting covenant Shed for you and for all, so that our sins may be forgiven...
Do this in memory of Me.
In memory of the spooky parochial school halls In memory of the wizened nuns, quietly obedient In memory of the over-simplicity of rules In memory of false piety laced with hypocrisy In memory of crushing inadequacy
Do this, in memory of me, the child.
In memory of the child whose uniform never quite fit Whose body developed too early Who had trouble making friends Who didn't have enough discipline
Do this, do that, don't do this, don't do that So many tiny rules and expectations to love, serve and obey
Sister Magdalene had her own parking space in the lot of the church where my grandfather placed his hand on my shoulder. Over the other, Joan of Arc whispered a joke about the Father. Something about bad breath. I giggled a fragmented Amen.
As a young girl I dreamt of the honor of battle and the burden of armor. Each morning I’d awake, my wrist sore from painting fields menstrual red. My thighs ached. My horse's name was Gust. She was the color of overcast. Once, she got so tired she kneeled. When she stood her stomach held the night sky. I laid beneath her and named stars from bits of her fur until the field began to whisper so loud that I woke.
Sister Magdalene sat in the first row of pews. Her skeleton hands held a candle. The flame tip-toed up her habit with the resolve of a field of corpses rolling their eyes toward salvation. When the flame reached her chin I bit my lip. Joan asked what’s wrong or what’s right. My mouth was full.
The flame grew to reach the Father, kneeling at the feet of a cadaver.
I listened to the church bend in the heat until Joan begged that we leave.
if what they say is true and you whispered in the ear of a man begging for God’s mercy a message of acceptance and love
if what they say is true and you know that God loves every person he created
then blessed be the world and I will raise my heart up to the Heavens for my Lord as I have wanted to for so long for I believe my God loves us unconditionally and my sexuality has no bearing on anything more than whom I love