i’ve been silent since i walked through the door
we sit in rolling chairs at the top of an ivory tower chapel space that
smells like the must of potential liberation that never reached fruition
and each of us are seeds
trying to crack into the meat of our heritage
and we’re all feeling so much at once that we can’t say where god is anymore
but we try to point with smoke shots in the dark
that dissipate before they strike their target,
open ended I statements and rhetorical questions
complaints about soar arms, church politics, and abortion
childrens health and gun control,
we run the gambit but never lock eyes when we cringe with empathy
and never look at the marble cross in the corner whose shadow suffocates half the air
we keep our lids half closed without realizing it in the pretense of having an open conversation
on race or the look in the mirror on the mornings when we truly hate ourselves
and as the board meeting races towards absolution
our knuckles tap code like a hurricane our instruments don’t see coming
our knuckles know what we’re not saying
and they’re speaking for us
along with our increasingly clenched jaw
and the eighty toes folding tight enough into the bottom of our feet to cut circulation
and its like performing a poem to a room full of drunk people at an open mic
where the rabbit ears sipping coors listen for the punchline but the other shoe never drops
and everyone starts frowning way too hard and later that night some of the couples who came to the show fight amongst themselves about truth, power, and love.
and with the alcohol still messing with their perception they shove the onus on the poet
why oh why did he have to make shit so serious
why oh why did he have to take himself so damn seriously

i’ve been silent since i walked through the door
but at some point I break down
to get the pressure out
and i say:
I feel Jesus
I know God
I see em in your smile
pregnant women
single father men
runners crying at a finish line
live musicians and professional wrestlers who have sacrificed everying
for a last shot at making their parents proud
I see em in your breath
I see em in your knuckles slapping the mahogany in patterns you don’t recognize
because you’re all worried
and you’re all desperate
that you are dedicating your life to a surface narrative
that the holy would never let pregnant women face solitary confinement
that the light of the chalice drips wax at the same speed that children starve up in harlem
that you are scared that what your parents taught you isnt true
that after everything gets stripped from you
that there’s this last line of faith they can’t ever ever take
you’re scared its not as sacred as its been advertised
you’re scared gods the devil that accelerates your breast cancer
you’re scared that no matter how loud you yell when you end up back in the gutter,
no matter how many times you tell your significant other that that time in your life is behind you baby please believe me,
when you end up back in the gutter yelling at the rain, scared no one will answer
but I feel jesus
I know god
each life, this world, all this shit is so serious, serious like you wouldn’t believe,
every theology is a life or death struggle
each one of us is charged with the economics of the spirit,
every one of us is terrified to answer the question of why we are here, in this room,
why we as seeds are held with limited vision to see the full bloom
our knuckles betray us
i can hear them
we’re afraid of ourselves and afraid of one another and afraid of what we would do if god threatened our family
and we were holding a 32 revolver
dear board
we’re all yelling at that rain sprawled naked in the gutter
we need to face that
we need to listen to the tapping of our knuckles
we need to lock eyes with the suffocation of the cross
we own nothing in this world
we are owed nothing by this world
we do our best
we sit through meetings
we make decisions
we commit
we must breathe easy
love fully
have faith until there’s nothing left
be at peace with the fact that maybe one day there will be nothing left