My Religion

June 26, 2017
By rcsparks10 BRONZE, Cape Elizabeth, Maine
rcsparks10 BRONZE, Cape Elizabeth, Maine
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

You pray for my soul to be saved
From the depths of Hell for not loving Him.
Joshua and Isaiah and John
Beat at the corners of my mind with shining golden whips,
Come back my love.
I want to hold your shattered shaking shoulders and let my tears make them warm,
Tell you that
I am whole
I am untainted
I am religious
This, this is my religion.
This is the gentle caress of August sighs across my sun-ripened shoulder
Breathing deeply quickly blood pulsing through my veins like sticky liquid honey
Skin rubbing against skin friction heating sweat dripping like sweet peach juice
Chipped polish toes squishing in salty wet briny sand
Like ruddy clay dust of Egypt like warm sinful Eden like mud under the Red Sea.
This is my prayer.
This is black ink pen tracing across the fades and bumps of cheap watermarked paper
The words you are beautiful in the deep baritone of harpsichord lips
Fat droplets of silver rain washing old mascara from my drooping eyelashes
Anointing my dirty cheeks with thundering, pitter-pattering blood of the sky
Baptising my body with gushing righteous harmony
This is my sacrament.
This is angry red scratches on my knees from kneeling on the burning rough cement
His calloused fingers tracing through mine like roots of a great oak tree
Melting butter on toast like the bread and the wine
Surrendering control of my body to loud snorting laughter
Shuddering sobs shattering screams and giggles and gasps and moans and sighs
This is my penance.
This is hot salty tears filling my eyes coating their lashes
Crushed aspirations and expectations like bones like chalk
The weight of stinging words oozing down my aching shoulders
Like sin drowning your Biblical figures
In liquid gold
In melted butter
In sticky cherry cough syrup
So do not pray for my soul
Do not dig your talons of faith into my mind into my flesh
Do not make me believe in God so my stockings can remain pristine and white and
Free from the scarlet stains of sin
So you can justify to yourself the virtue of your granddaughter because it makes you feel clean.
Let me have my religion.
Let me have this.

The author's comments:

This piece was inspired by my own journey in coming to terms with

 my identity as an atheist, and of how it affected my relationship with my grandmother, an evangelical Christian. It's about accepting myself and what is important to me even if she cannot, and hoping that eventually she will as well.

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