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I watch the water
beam from the sun
and that is what you call
making love
The Earth is the greatest poet I know.
I pluck at her expression
every so often
merely attempting
to translate her lyrics
into something,
just something
we can all feel and understand
My salutes to you, Earth.
  Feb 2017 Victoria Capaldo
JR Rhine
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—”

God interjected,
“But you’re chosen!”

I snorted,

“You say I’m chosen
to spend eternity with you—
why me?

Why’d you pick me among
thousands, millions, billions?

I’ve been told I’m ‘chosen’
since birth
by others like me—

those with fair complexion,
blue eyes,
blonde hair,
a firm overt ****** 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
every day.

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?

I’m tired
being the ubermensch,
for it has not brought me
happiness
and I blame you.

I will not ignore
the cries of the suffering
believing it is I
who is destined to live
in bliss.

I will not buy
Joel Osteen’s autobiography(ies).

I will not tithe
you my money
for a megachurch
when another homeless shelter
closes down.

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,

*** 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,
potentially preventable,
but hardly can I believe
it’s part of your plan
to save
me.

I will not be saved
if we are not
all saved—

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
mortality, and
corruption, and
power, and
****, and
greed.”

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,
yes,
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

**** On Earth.

So you see,
it’s not you,
it’s me—
a mere mortal
who has tried to put a face
to eternity
and it has left me
empty.

And also,
it’s me,
for I have learned to love me,
as I have expelled your self-loathing imbibition,
and the deleterious zeal
I have proclaimed
through ceaseless
trepidation
and self-flagellation—

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
us.

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:
“Dessert?”

“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
free
and alive.
Victoria Capaldo Jan 2017
I met you,
and now it's like quicksand.
The more effort I exert
to resisting your pull,
the deeper into you I sink;
and I am left wondering
the intentions of your embrace,
even as the last inches of me
are consumed.
Victoria Capaldo Jan 2017
I stand on the chipped wooden deck
now darkened from the rain.
The snow has begun to melt,
water dripping between the cracks.
The sun greets me from behind trees
still bare for the last stretch of winter.

I recall the same trees,
dressed in gowns of green.
Birds soaring between branches,
singing sweet songs of summertime.

I recall these same trees,
as the crisp autumn air
pulled at their red and orange leaves,
and sent them back to the earth.

I recall the same trees,
**** with branches swaying,
as the first snow flakes drifted from the heavens,
leaving a cool white blanket beneath them.

Oh, how  q u i c k l y  time moves,
passing with such haste.

Oh, how I hope I am changing.
You came to me in what I thought was a dream,
but it was actually the mundane,
and the secrets my conscious brain,
was keeping from me.

You were a part of reality all along,
it's just taken me a bit to realize it.
Sunlight can be blinding,
and raindrops are more obvious.
Victoria Capaldo Jan 2017
hello eyes,
I am wondering what it is
about you that invites
that 40-something-year-old
to make comments about how seductive you are.
                    (nothing).
hello hair,
I am really a big fan
of your new style, but must ask
if you got it so he would tell you
how **** it looks when you spin your head.
                    (no, you did not).
hello lips,
I am interested to know
if the color you are wearing
was applied with intention for him
to tell you where he'd like to see it.
                    (no, it was not).
hello body,
I know you are so tired,
and you are here to work but I wonder,
if you are also here so that he can
graze his hands across you uninvited.
                    (no, you are not).
Victoria Capaldo Jan 2017
I was  a l w a y s  told
that telling you what
you have done to me,
encouraged by the bottle
would  h u r t  you
more than it would  h e a l  me.
but today,
years later,
I still hear you hiss.
today,
years later,
I have felt enough hurt.
today,
years later,
I am  a m a z e d  at
just how much it's
healed me just to say
you're toxic.
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