dead prayers to a man god

the night is the worst

empty arms and outdoors is

blue-black, like a bruise

Like the bruise you gave me

when you slammed the door in

my face

your empty promises of return

reverberating like so much empty

clanging of bells

The bells, the bells of church

ringing a God I do not know

who is the priest- man

burning me at the stake

burning the faith right out of me

Diabolical, really.

Your guttural laugh and your proclamation

of hearing God’s voice giving you me in marriage

will stay with me

as will the scars of your

thousands of lashes

the scars of a thousand crosses

never bridging distances

seared forever on my soul

I am digging my own grave

impassively

the black hole reaches out to me

Black hands holding a holy cross

I grasped it once

and it burned me

over and over

the harsh tones of a demon God

that saves no one

only buries hearts and minds and souls

and smashes crowns of thorns on unsuspecting penitent heads

©diane o’leary 2005


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