Despite What I Say

Location

I was 6 weeks old

Nothing but soft skin and cries in the night to define me

When a man cloaked in white laid my head in holy water

He offered me the cross as his fingers scratched the air

Just as they’d done a thousand times before

To so many others so fair.

 

Now I had my first label at 6 weeks old

She is a Catholic girl, so prim and proper

She’ll wear a dress and bobby socks, with little black heels

In the years to come she’ll confess her sins

She’ll share the body and blood of Christ

And live life with one goal in mind: heaven.

 

Yet in the end,

No matter how many times I mimicked the cross on my own chest

None of it seemed to make any sense.

 

I did not grow up with the church,

I grew around choirs rejoicing hallelujah

Mumbling amen under my breath.

I listened to person after person tell me of this man

A man in the sky who I should talk to at night

A man who has a plan for me before I die

But it didn’t seem to matter what they said

Because in the back of my mind all I heard was why?

And you see, that’s thing. No one around me ever asked those three letters.

W H Y.

If god is so good, why do terrible things happen.

If god is so good, why does he act as a mere spectator

To cancer and genocide

To hate crimes and abuse

If god is so good, why won’t he let me loose?

 

Loose from my curious mind.

Loose from my need to question everything

To the point that I no longer believe in anything.

 

Now, before I continue I need to reassure you

I do not mean to shake anyone’s faith

The problem is not that you believe in God,

The problem is that for some reason, I cannot.

 

And with this problem comes my mask.

I define myself as Catholic because it comes with no explanation

Because when asked my religion

Its far easier to envision

The good Catholic girl

I define myself as Catholic because society accepts it.

They won’t bat an eyelash for they approve of it.

 

But inside I know I’m a sinner for I’ve broken rule number 9

Oh god, why me? Yes, for I have sinned

To keep the label the man in white gave me 17 years ago is to lie

I am a girl who will quote for you Genesis

but choke as God transforms Adam’s rib into Eve

I am the girl who will grimace as God floods the earth

And, in this way, I fail to comprehend how people find peace.

 

Despite what I say on the streets,

 

I do not believe in God.

I lack the faith to believe in what I cannot see,

And although I am okay with that,

To fear society’s rejection for what I can see,

Makes me feel as if something is wrong with me.

I blame it on them

I blame society for forcing me to wear the mask

Despite my own hands taking part in the task…

But damn you know, a mask only covers the face

Hell, my life falls behind a curtain

Because sometimes I feel like such a disgrace.

 

Comments

Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741