Return of God
I always believed that there was someone protecting me.
When I was young at bedtime, my mother and I
we would send up our prayers to the dark heavens,
cupped in our palms like butterflies
they would flutter to the clouds.
Then I would snuggle against her side
and fall without fear into the willing arms of slumber
where I would dream that God listened to my holy butterfly whispers,
as they spoke in my voice of longings and gratitudes.
I always believed that I was safe,
since I was always broke but never broken,
since the waterfall of tears was never for me,
since the day I was swaddled in cloth at the altar
and they poured water on my forehead while I ignorantly slept,
and sleeping I remained
until I was startled awake by the hospital hum,
seeing it was robot lifesavers that did the feeding through tubes,
and the bright white nurses piercing needles through skin,
smiling away the death while she was tucked away drowsily,
blood drinking wartime chemical cure,
contentment on her face thinking of marzipan and rainbows
but all I could remember was
hiding my piercings so they couldn’t be seen
or the first time she slapped me when I was fifteen
and called her a bitch and I wish I never did those things
but there is only space for the
echo of I’m not ready for you to go anywhere,
and that doesn’t come out loud but
You and I, Mummy, we were lying in a field and you said
the stars are missing tonight, it is so inky clear you said
with your pale lips pointing with your thin finger.
I told you quietly, they’ve gone to attend God’s funeral.
I think it’s time you know the truth,
I don’t want to spoil your unflinching faith but God’s gone now,
and the stars, they are soaring through the onyx sky faster than light,
since God is far away but it’s alright,
soon the stars will come back and we’ll pretend they are the eyes that see and
they will fight the thing that is growing inside you
while I pluck notes like flowers from the strings of a harp,
and lull you to a land where all of this isn’t happening and
we don’t have to sit here waiting for the return of God.