I am a wide range of musical tastes.
I am the savage beating drums of a war dance,
the tense build-up of an ancient overture.
I am vengeful in my need for an audience.
I am needy and blaring,
turned up on high volume.
I am a wide range of musical tastes.
All a little sour, all out of tune.
We’re all standing.
We’re standing with San Bernardino.
We’re standing with Paris.
We’re standing with Planned Parenthood,
with #GunSense and #GunControl.
We’re standing with #BlackLivesMatter,
and we’re standing with #NotInMyName.
Hell, we’re one hashtag away from becoming
the nation that stood for everything.
We’re all striving to be Lady Liberty,
statue-strong and docile.
We’ve grown accustomed to the rinse and repeat motions
of shootings and suffering and grief and standing.
Another life lost,
another prayer given,
another hashtag made,
and then it’s all forgotten.
We’re so busy standing with everyone,
we never take a step forward for change.
I want to stand with Paris.
I want to stand with Beirut.
I want to stand with Egypt,
I want to stand and stand and stand
but I’ve hit my knees
and forgotten how to pray.
I know in a few years Paris will be a grainy photograph
stuck to a thin page in some history textbook
with the caption
“Attack on Paris by ISIS.”
They’ll wrap up all the heartache and loss into
five words and
Fourteen years of the War on Terror
takes less than fourteen pages
and it won’t tell you that everyone remembers where they were
when those towers fell.
It won’t show you the things we all lost in those sands.
Maybe it’ll give you statistics.
Two or three lines to describe the casualties.
And somewhere among those numbers I hope they add in
the loss of my marriage,
the loss of the ability of a man to father his children,
the loss of the love that was once held by two young people
crazy enough to dash naked through the snow
and lie for hours on the grass as if no one could see them.
I hope they add on every family like mine,
the loss that can’t be packed into a wooden box
and marked with a number
and a small white cross.
I hope in all the political shit
piled into the text of these next history books
it says that we stood united
in fear, and loss, and pain.
That we stood with Paris.
That we stood even when our knees gave out
and we stood when we forgot how to pray.
I do not think I like this legacy of mine.
Half my life we’ve been at war
and slaughter has become the adulthood I know.
I gave up my generation to fight this war
and we’re leaving behind new gods in our wake.
We’re all hailing at the Church of Trump
and we mistook the burning bush
for George W.
Because the deacons of our NRA society
have told me I need this gun to stay safe,
have shown me that worship
comes in small metal packages,
shot straight into the heart of the issue
of this up and coming,
Where we have exchanged
love thy neighbor
for love thy white neighbor,
thy Christian neighbor,
thy middle-aged, gun toting,
This is a land where we can preach
all life is sacred
and then quote the second amendment
all in the same breath.
I do not think I like this new god.
If I have to have one,
served at every meal,
shoved down my throat
at every impasse of my morals
with a side of the cherry-picked lines
from that book…
I think I like your angry god.
I think I like his old testament self –
where he turned a woman to salt
for her uncontrollable urge to look back
at the city that screamed like babes.
I want his desperate need for
because we’re already doing it.
We’re good at it.
Eventually he might even be appeased.
I want that angry god to step in
say enough, is enough
and put his finger right on the heart of the issue
of every Obama is Coming for Your Guns Commercial
that says we need more guns, more guns, more guns…
More guns to stay safe from school shooters
who blow away my children’s generation.
More guns to protect ourselves from black people,
who want our jobs,
to sell us drugs,
to steal our things,
to hurt us.
More guns to safeguard our god
from their god.
Because killing in the name of ours is moral
and killing in the name of theirs
Because at the end of the day
that god is a loving god
with an affinity for combat grade
and a righteous cause…
I pray for your angry god.
In Jesus name,
There is something odd, and yet beautiful in being a mother. It seems we always have so many different coats to wear: wife, mother, daughter, friend…Sometimes those coats seem to overlap, we slide from one thing to the other with little thought.
I suppose He tore another page from The Book today. . .
let is slide between sweaty fingers,
slice the tip,
right there under the nail,
so the pain would ebb and flow,
waves of electricity with each
a heartbeat set to leap into
as the blood dripped like heavy sealing wax.
Gifts unwrapped and
His will is a shiny, sparkling,
It’s fully loaded and
set to go
right through the forehead
with the little blonde curl.
It’s His will,
His gift. . .
but your bullet.
You can join in this prompt at the Creativity Carnival, here.
I have conserved the memory of you,
smashed between the pages
of the photo album on my nightstand –
you, the Polaroid picture I
until the image appeared,
blurred and grainy
and I cried to see the blue of your eyes so diluted.
I have buried myself in the warm fold
of your embrace and
am climbing the steep staircase
of your rib-cage. I am implanting myself
right where it will hurt the most.
I am spying, from the whites of your eyes
to catch a glimpse of the storm sea
in your gaze. It was all I ever