Benevolence ↯ Omnipotence

For eleven minutes, there was no God

and I was real,
the sloughed off words and
dissonance in the flesh
bearing heavily on every moment
that would come next
because we don’t time-travel
through paragraphs
of a preordained script.
Such a thing would have been
a grace, and there is none.

Pain is pain.
Blood is red and liquid
and honestly quite hard
to remove from the sheets,
and when someone sweet-talks you
into opening the door
to steal your sacred core,
you find, somewhere
along the extraction,
it’s not some “thematic allegory”
for a piece of your soul
but something that bleeds
actual blood and and registers
decibels of fear

and the purple of the bruises
is not an abstract
“vocabulary of perception”.
They’re fucking purple bruises.
Shame is shame,
no matter how many times
and how deeply you swallow.

Why have you forsaken me?

For a quarter of a nondescript afternoon,
the divine plan was a hoax;
there was no transcendental reason.
Prayers are patches
on a chain-link fence
and faith is a weathered blanket
against the titanium bullets
of the will of a man who
had made up his mind
to defile your temple.
You live through his decision
in slow motion,
minute after godless minute,
a measured life in free fall

empty of angels.
The entire ungoverned universe
suddenly matters so little
and so much,
because this is not a coherence
some Great Architect of lives
is telling,

because there’s no one
in this cold void but you.

The Politics of Faith

I find your pauses oppressive,
when you can’t look my confessions
in the eye and are suddenly
frugal with your words
when you have always been
so outspoken and full of opinions,
and I find myself standing
two yards from you, a distance
that could have been heaven and hell,
unsure of myself and breathing
the corrosive air of your
unspoken judgement.

I know you find me guilty
of a crime in two counts:
of being a victim,
and of having survived.

You think my being here, talking
about it, is a contradiction,
sacrilegious, even
my wielding the gift of
a second-tier deliverance
between my legs. So you
douse Bible verses with bleach
and cast them like stones
in all directions, knowing
that one of them will reach me,
because you couldn’t sit
with the discomfort of
telling me to my face:

that I am unworthy,
that you have seen it with your eyes
but don’t believe it, that I’ve
derived something bright and
indestructible out of something
blood-stained and of this world.
But I’ve held it,
slept on top of it,
I’ve bathed in its rust
and drunk its shadows.

That’s why you won’t touch me,
isn’t it? Even my clothes
look tainted to you.
Maybe you’re holding off
until I’ve sanitized my past
and become like you, as if
you have a monopoly on grace.
You once told me these sorts
of crimes don’t happen to
the truly favored. It follows,
then, that an elected soul
cannot hold temple
in a desecrated body.
There is no wrong place,
wrong time, or wicked people,

only a God who has already
made up His mind,
with infallible bullets
and an impeccable aim,
that it only takes a single blow
for His will to be made evident.

You think I’ve borne that blow.
You think I should stay down.
You hate that I’m still here
and that your God has more
compassion than you understand.

Sought After, City Not Abandoned

Obedience is the new great revolution,

in a world of misinformation
and too much information
and agendas
and disguised intentions,
where discourse can only corrupt
your sense of right and wrong
beyond recognition,
where everybody has
to have a say on everything
and your supposed relevance lies
in the strength of of your opinions,

the real challenge is
to hear a Greater Voice
and follow it,
to be humble
and deny yourself
your need to feel important
when it means
getting mixed up in the fray
and contributing to the chaos

for the purest form of eloquence
is a tranquil and trusting silence
in deference to the One
who is in charge all the time,
who has a divine plan,
who only needs to will it
for things to fall into place
and the reasons to be revealed
so that we may understand
without having to be broken,
or compromised, or divided.

Walk to the place
where your election is safest
and wait for Him there.

The Miracle That Has Your Name On It

I think the people who make decisions based on percentages and statistics lean towards the idea that our lots in life are passed out at random and there is no greater power we can call on, one who knows our individual paths and can distinguish each one of us from the rest. But if the numbers say there is only one chance in ten thousand for something to succeed, but that one chance was meant for you and your story, why should the 9,999 chances of failing matter to you?

The Spikenard Won’t Wash Off

Why did You choose me

choose to not turn me away
nor cast me aside,
choose me to survive the fire,
to break me early
enough to be saved
enough to be brought back
enough to again
find my way to You?

Why, among the many,
I came to be one of the few,
what did You see?

Why did You raise me
from the shackles of
my defiant addictions,
why did You pull me out
of the ashes of the world
that I so wantonly
burned down myself?
The queue was long
and I had no great hopes
for my turn
but I almost perceptibly
felt You pass me
and tap me on the shoulder
to receive Your blessing,

You know me.
I who have nothing
of myself to speak of,
I who willingly walked
over and over
to the edge of calamity
and dared Your wrath
to strike me down,
I who put You to the test
so many times,
I who was always weak
and ignorant
and proudly used that card
to go against You
I who can never forgive myself
and would only have
too bitterly understood
if You had closed all doors,
why me?

In the trenches
of my personal darkness
I hear Your grace working
though I am occupied by hunger
and so bound to this world
to truly comprehend the light.
I know I am chosen
and there is no justice,
only mercy,
only love.

Printer’s Proof

“Will you be my story”
is really what my heart was saying
underneath all the casual,
coy politeness
on the day you and I
first exchanged dreams
to try them on for size
and see what the future
might be like.

All my previous chapters,
ink blots in my
proverbial little black book,
gossip fodder and
forgotten tattoos in hidden places
short cinematic anecdotes, all
recipes for disaster,
all with the one
main ingredient missing
brought me to that moment
when I was tired
of chasing mirages
only to arrive empty-handed,
of dancing with compromises
and being romanced
with hollow promises
and only wanted, finally
to begin

to walk on solid ground
and not in circles
to make sacrifices
with real direction
to know that each today
is a continuation of yesterday
to build
a life
not without hard edges
but still graced
by the occasional glimpse
of a fairy tale.

* * *

And here we are,
two bodies
joined at the soul
with our story’s words,
handpicked by a Divine Author
falling with ease
between our fingers
and onto the crisp, fresh white
of the waiting open page.

Wordsmith Confessions

I am not accustomed
to writing in sustained bliss.

It does not feel fair
to you,
you who have been fair
to my heart since the beginning,
you deserve all the lovely lines
I could break apart
with skillful grace
and reconstruct
into the beautiful chaos
that makes up the kind of poems
that walk around in your soul
like recurring dreams.
I who used to bend words
into images of my choosing,
I who used to commune
with language like
trees in the spring rain,
I should be doing more writing
for the one man that
gave me my happy ending.

But see, for the first time,
the potency of the silence
is enough for me.
For the first time,
the blank page does not
feel devoid of meaning.
I’d sit by the window
and the music of
my sheer existence
would fill me
to the tips of my being
and I am content
just to love you,
to believe in you,
in this,
and to be lost
among the pages
of the eloquence and mastery
of One who evolved
all the phrases and metaphors
into the divine transcendence
that brought us here.