A lesson learned the hard way
growing up in the pews
of buildings that spiral to heaven,
you memorize the muted
colors of hymnals and padded
folding chairs. the small hairs
in your ears, back of arms,
knowing by heart every phrase
separating you from anything other.
all the colorful. all the raw.
the sustenance. the meal.
you stop reacting to the sound
of repetition, pull your soul apart
from the symptoms.
the lump in your throat,
the wet in your eyes, the calm
settling in your chest.
nothing more than god confirming
every word delivered out of
wrinkled white men’s mouths.
then, you’re 19 and still waking up
to an understanding that something
as small goosebumps raising hairs on your arm
at hearing a beautiful phrase
is available to each person roaming earth.
by nature of humanity. the skin that wraps
us up in pulsing veins. electric impulses
and synapse that connect us to each other.
the emotion that tells your chest to open,
from empathy, or beauty, or understanding—
is not supposed to be kept hidden
and secret for only those wearing
god’s garments; stitched at the heart.
for those who’ve taken cryptic vows written
by and for men who will never know you,
secret handshakes shrouded.
it’s not just for women who given
the whole of themselves up,
eyes covered. waiting for their name
to be called through a veil
they’ll never see through.
you were not chosen.
you were simply, born.
god is art and art is a goddess.
and men have no power here.