I have a hard time associating
With women who wear
Sterling silver cross necklaces,
Telling tales that sex is an appeal to the devil.
Monogamy is a path to a bright afterlife,
But only for the ruined.
When my mother started having an affair,
I knew then that Church wasn’t for me
Or for the pastor she was ruining.
A fraud, an infection, an ironic sin
We lived in this “center that cannot hold”.
My mother is a sinner
and I am not a saint.
My father, spending unemployed dollars unearned;
My father, spreading a cancer from his cigarettes;
My father, smoking white and blowing red,
Dared to fall deeper into her depressive waltz
They got a divorce
The walls in the apartment are fortified.
The water is undrinkable for daily baptisms
And there’s a trashcan in the corner
With old family albums, weary and tired.
He always brought flowers,
A safety net to his sins.
She always wore red lipstick
For she was a fish.
“My mother is a fish”
When she used to be my rock;
When she used to be perfect.
I am awake and ready and surviving
And I am old, weary and tired
And I am old, independent and secure;
And I am old, happy and exhausted;
And I am young, eager and willing,
No matter the outcome of my childhood
I am my own savior and I, my own sin.