Would that I never find a God or Gods,
for that, that would end my faith. My faith –
the certain unknowledge of knowing
anything but the black ass of Jesus running away,
laughing, leaving prints unpressed by wind,
rain, and all things that erase a path –
And the mocking torture of stigmata –
welts and blister, scab and ointment –
the forearms of a cutter – sliced on the bias
in fire and rare medium wells.
I’d sooner prostrate myself before a goat
and take the headbutt clean, knowing
that if I prostrate myself before a goat,
I’ll take a horn on the cheek and turn the other.
But here’s the thing with goat – gamey –
and butchered so that small bones
come slyly in a bite and jab the hard palate,
maybe torture a tooth, below the gum – and yes –
the roll-eye rube goes round-eye fast
and that is the tail end of sacrifice –
the real blood letting.
No, to find a God, to kneel there –
as acolyte or beggar – slave
to some other bliss, sure
in the knowledge of mine own
salvation – For I Believe –
is the succor of fools
that never heard the popping of bone
from bone as they severed the leg
of a chicken – held it – leg in one,
breast in the other, twisted
until the joint broke clean.
I suppose it is easy to place your fate
in the hands of a God – maybe –
but harder still, in the hands of men,
shrill circumstance, and the flat-seat ways
of numerous hosts.
Image: JOHN TOWNER on Unsplash
Hey, thanks again. I forgot about this poem. I really appreciate the time spent reading my work.
I appreciate how you articulate your unbelief here. Your expression of it palpable and reminds me why I value atheists so much– in spite of being spiritual (but not religious) myself. So many believers are the most guilty of creating the suffering we see in the world and prostrate themselves upon the God they create in their own brutal image. Your first stanza is perfectly stunning.
I think I was a bit pissed off when writing this piece. If I recall, it was written while the church crowd came heavy on a Sunday at the restaurant.