Dragging myself to my knees,
I feel like I’m praying to whitewash.
When I whisper to these angels and heavens,
I recall childhood stories of pastel
choirs, rivers of milk
and wings of light. I am not home in this heaven.
It is a feather jacket
I am midnight reveling until the tyranny of dawn.
I borrow my eyes from the bats;
blinding light is irrelevant when you’re already blind.
I might be happier if I were atheist;
then I’d know my eternity was the dark.
My faith does not move me to pray to Absence but the
nova within it, who created life for the hell of it
and marvels at our invention of dance.
I believe in an afterlife that celebrates flamenco and rock.
I pray for the saints with joints for pop lock and hips for salsa,
where there is no gatekeeper
because there is no gate,
and when I arrive they thank me for turning down the lights.
If it is Jesus, let his eyes be maroon, his grip
a stone shiver. Let the angels moan with
a cellist’s bow sliding across their throats.
If there are gardens, let them drip every moment I’d once called a regret.
If there is Buddha let him lay down the bottle and
tell me I have suffered well.
If there are virgins, let them smile gently and lie in peace.
I was not birthed from whitewash.
I came from the wash.
I am not dust, but grounded nails.
I am not joy. I am its belly and surrender.
I never stopped loving the morning,
but I can’t really dance
until I can’t see.
May I find a heaven that feels a little
like me. Let it be bizarre, and a little sexy when it
isn’t trying to eat me.
And if you are nothing, if there is no welcome
and no song, then let the nothing hold me
as water in the lungs a heartbeat from collapse.
Let me be held in the palm of the shadow
that was kind enough to burst.
Let me be wrapped in the skin of the pulsing neck.
Gripped. Like you meant it.