on self-fulfilling prophecies
the day the Lutheran church burnt down on main and hartgrove
we starved ourselves in the parking lot
you didn’t care for architecture, the principle
and I resented religion, the lines, the structure
calling out to God when I knew Him already
God is a man who pushes you against concrete
religion is knowing the back of a hand is different than the palm
one is cool, soft, and
one is a stinging promise
but we found time and desire watching the flames soak glass
and you loved me when my elbow nicked brick walls
you pushed me up against.
I moaned like I felt something until
every saint floating out in smoke
through God’s house, our house
would not tell me you were wrong
not if my body were your hymnal
not wrong if past transgressions made you right when screaming nights turned into blood
not wrong when your mother smiled at me: she likes me, I know
you had her brown eyes, veiled by a curtain of lashes,
yet to find deceit.
it never crossed my mind
that eyes could lie,
spit me up and chew me out and never call it what it was.
would it comfort you? if I told the truth?
you possessed me with half-truths and half-promises.
each day I watched our church reignite
until it became the story behind my eyes.
did you know what you could do? did you think of the consequences?
a guilty conscience, barraging my mind with thoughts of acquittal.
when the court said you were free to go,
the Devil came to me through a lie of healing.
Satan is a woman who becomes her abuser
I fear commitment, the threats, the structure.
he is new to me and far from you.
he is a year of psalms singing to my flight response
half as innocent as me
I will control what I cannot understand and then leave him
looking up from the floor
it’s all wrong, Mary tells him
(she could see what I was.)
yet before the fear could even line
his wide, blue eyes
he knew that I
would let you take the blame for this.