Silver and Red

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.

This poem is about: 
Me
My family
Our world

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