Monday, January 17, 2011

Write a poem that scares you?

I think I read somewhere that you should try to write a poem that scares you. Well, I did something more frightening than that. I sat down to write one poem and ended up writing a poem that scares the you-know-what out of me. If you know why...just let me know, k?

The Assault on Divinity

If I had died yesterday
I would have died a nobody.
A 20-something with
too much education and
a head full of words that don’t matter:
500 ways of naming crazy,
labeling broken,
fixing it all back to a normal that was never loved,
but my heart
was made for loving.
Filled to the breaking point
my heart loves the silent places that speak
and the monologues that don’t,
the feet that tiptoe
and the boots that stomp,
the small, crayon-filled hands coloring rainbows
and the big, dirty ones wielding guns,
my heart
was made for loving
but love
is never enough.

If I had died today
I would still have been no one.
A 20-something with
too much education
a voice that was made for speaking words no one will hear
reading phrases in a language my own
I have always been
at a loss for words.
I let passion slip through my fingers,
seep into the world
like the butterfly no human ever saw
born in the country where only god lives
she lived 72 hours
flapped her wings sixteen billion times
making hurricanes and perhaps
pollinating flowers, till
she fell to the ground, so unknown
she couldn’t even be

If I died tomorrow
I would leave dissonance in the wake of my life.
The vague discord of a soul that never fit
a triangular or octagonal soul in a round world
people would walk through me in
a quantum leap of time and space
a surge of intensity
a pause where doubt is suspended in
an elixir of cotton candy dreams, bubble bath,
baby laughs
more beautiful than I ever was—
but remember,
is never enough.
We all carry bruised hearts and
too many stories of hope turned sour
refusing to release them because hope
is our only connection to god
and regardless of faith
we refuse to discard

The other day I saw a boy
knocking on the door of a little play house
like his god might live inside.
The door was painted on, without a knob,
the windows were tacked on pieces of plywood but
he knocked as if hope alone
might make his god come out and play,
as if persistence was all he needed
for his make-believe life
to come true.
I stopped and watched, thinking for a moment that maybe
he was right
I peered to see
if god would answer.
No one came,
but I knew god must just be out because
when the boy smiled
I saw my sisters in his eyes
my grandmother in his laugh
the faces of strangers in his smile
people who had hurt me in his hands.
I knew I had to rewind because
we all carry bruised hearts
too many stories of hope turned sour
we refuse to release them: hope
is our only connection to god
and yet,
hearts only bruise
when our divinity
is trashed.

For now, I keep living
for the bullets that fall
naming the ways we bruise one another
feeling the blows in my magnetized heart
watching the bullets slide, pooling
in the deepest point where they hide,
masquerading as smiles and belief
in a bright day dawning, nothing
but hope
urges me forward
reminds me to connect to my god in the belief
that today
we will be restored to divinity,
I am knocking on the doors of righteousness
peering into tacked on windows
face frozen in a smile I can’t own
wondering how justice can be won
when everyone fights

1 comment:

  1. i think you should publish these poems - theyre amazing. and i usually hate poetry.

    why does it scare you? easy. it points to the potential emptiness of th world, the potential meaninglessness that lies behind all the efforts we make to try to pretend otherwise

    but thee are 2 sides to every coin. hope , joy and purpose lie on the other side of that coin.