(nymph, in thy orisons…)

in the hollow

behind my heart

lurks a monster.

madness and cruelty wait,

dormant,

for an opportunity at destruction.

shame and guilt

assail my reflections.

i am not a terrible person,

but sometimes i do terrible things.

how can we separate

the black isolation within

from our concept of self?

the church always told me

that sin was uiversal.

i was taught that It

appeared in the warm, curious embrace

of teenagers fumbling with zippers

and the end of conceptions

wrought by sexual assault

or physical and psychological terror.

scornfully presenting condemnation

of excessive material pursuits,

the congregation arrived every weekend

in their luxury cars and sunday best.

for a joyful hour,

worship commenced

before crowds filed out

to return to their lovely,

empty houses full of

beautiful things.

eternally confidant in their worthiness

and success-

proof that He smiled upon them

and guaranteed their superior nature.

the impoverished were not saved

and they were weak and unworthy.

disdained sneers haunted

the homeless beggars on the street.

my deviance was disconcerting and

foreign.

i did not know how

to fold gracefully into the flock

the way my dignified mother

and faithful sisters

knew.

yet the flowing of time

has shown me that

sex is not sin

and difference is beautiful.

sin comes not from God,

He is not a single figure in the sky.

Sin springs, wildly, from our own

tragic failure

to understand our own Divinity.

we have the power to

crush each other

with a single thoughtless word.

yet we are not terrible people.

we sometimes do terrible things.

we must strive to

love each other more

and leave behind our

terror.

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