They promised you
This is how life works.
Trust us.
We know the way. The only way. Deviate–
–and die.

You can’t trust yourself, kid,
they said.
Your self lies to you. Brain heart body spirit all
Listen at your peril–
there is one road
–and die.

Who you are? Oh no, that won’t work–
god knows
(but he can’t actually stand you) so
be this way instead, and think
the right things and say
the right things and then you’ll be
Salvation by right beliefs
Acceptance when you look like
– and die.

The world is a terrible place
– they said.
The world will eat you alive
– they said.
god is here not there
– they said.
It’s not about YOU–
– they said.
(It’s not about you.
It’s not about you.
It’s not about you.)

Who you are? Unacceptable.
So here’s the list
check it twice
before god starts checking his
he knows if you believe the right things
and he’s coming to get you
if you don’t.
–and die.

So you follow their rules
Dutifully hand over your brain
Obey the KEEP OUT signs
shut up
(who are you to question god?)
            paste on the smile
(who are you to complain?)
           (all you deserve is hell)
            censor yourself
ration yourself
contort yourself to fit into their Shape
sacrifice, sanctification, bleed out self till there’s
nothing left but
what they approve

and then one day
a passing breeze
not much more than a breath
and the structure wavers

and then that question, never answered, that stuck in your head
and the house

and suddenly you see grey where once all was black
and white
and the whole thing

and you’re trying to shore it up
it’s like trying to stop an avalanche picking up speed
and then–

–the Deviation–
–like death–
–the writhing–

the death of all you once were
the end of of all you once knew



The sobbing of the empty space this blackhole the ache
of it.

Who are you?
They promised you death
and maybe they were right for it is
and you are alone.


–and then
–the Rage.

it is the first taste of freedom, the spice of it,
the bitter strength of it
the power
rage for the lost years, howl for the raw seeping wound
the old-world chords that still lace your world
even as you wrestle to be free

          Don’t fear it, feel it
Knot the whip and let the scourge come
(oh feel the rage, let it come, bear down with it, let it take you)

for then you are on the brink–
–you can see it, smell it in the wind


One thought on “Deconstruction

  1. What a powerful expression of this being-suffocated-and-oppressed-in-the-name-of-Jesus experience so many of us have experienced in the church. The line “ The sobbing of the empty space this blackhole the ache
    of it.” took my breath away. You have expressed so well what so many of us yearn to articulate, and by doing so, you’ve given us words and language to tell our own stories. Thank you for your work and courage.

    Liked by 1 person

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