Grace Taught My Heart To Fear

Location

08816
United States
40° 25' 54.1056" N, 74° 24' 17.9208" W

I’ve always wanted to believe
Mama told me you were everywhere
And the pastors told me to pray
So I wore your emblems
Around my neck
Around my wrists
I stayed shackled and barred to your pews
Until my knees were bruised and bloody

I’ve always wanted to believe
Mama told me you were everywhere
But when I looked,
You were nowhere
I called out to you in tears
The night I hid under my bed
Holding onto his secrets
Secrets of a prepubescent body
Standing naked in a dark room
(Where were you?)

I’ve always wanted to believe
Mama told me you were everywhere
But when he pinned me down
To a filthy bed
Breathing vodka and nicotine down my neck
Whispering cold, hard
“I love you” ‘s into my ears
I pushed and scratched and pulled and bit
And I was too afraid to open my eyes
Because when I did
All I saw was him
(Where were you?)

I’ve always wanted to believe
Mama told me you were everywhere
And so maybe I thought it was you
When the walls started singing to me
Their melodies drifting me to sleep
Begging me to carve myself
Like the old oak tree we used to play in
And with the breaking of bread, I let red sap seep
Through the linear grooves of my bark
(Was it you?)

I’ve always wanted to believe
Mama told me you were everywhere
But unless you were the knife against my throat
Or the thick ropes digging into my skin
Or the voice behind the words,
“Scream and you’ll die”

Unless you are the Panic
That rises from within me
Shattering my chest
Stopping my breathing
Tying off my stomach
To churn acid into thickness
Vibrating every vein in my body

Unless you are the soft, white powder
That dilated his pupils
And threw me against the concrete ground

Unless you are the monosyllabic word
That has infected my reflection
Molding me into a shadowy embodiment
Of your fallen servant

Unless you are the jagged metal tips
Of the long forgotten cable wires
Which tore off my flesh in an unforgiving rage

Unless you are the inaudible white noise
Consuming every wrinkle of my cerebrum

Unless you are the shame, and the guilt, and the worthlessness
Enticing me to sip of cocktails of Clorox
In order to disinfect myself of the filth inside

Unless I am to believe
That you are the wickedness
Which has followed me through life
Charring my cognition,
And covering my shaking hands
In an un-cleansable black soot

I cannot believe in you.

I’ve always wanted to believe
And I have read you in many different names
But every night,
I sit alone in an empty room
And I still can’t cry,
Can’t sleep
Can’t breathe
Can’t feel
And the world around me shatters
From glass into sand

So if you are truly as kind,
And as benevolent
As the books all say,
(Believe me)
You aren’t there

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