Friday, August 28, 2015

"Rebecca" means snare.

i have a name straight from the bible, i have communion wafers
still hidden behind my ears. seven
years old and huddled in a group, making its way through the Stations of the Cross.
i learned that torture was the way of Godliness, that we are all inherently bad
unless we can prove we are worth saving. 
at night i dreamt of bleeding ribs and cries of anguish, dreamt of whips and 
pierced palms. 
The Catholic Church is not concerned with the nightmares of children. 

Rebekah gave birth to brain and muscle, lies and anger, Cain and Abel.
she created things that destroyed each other.

i am a snare, a tightly wrapped blanket, i console myself with long talks 
that rarely end in words. 
my ribs are soft, everything is a twisting spear. 
stealing breath, stealing Sundays, choking, trapping.
caught between loosening the noose or finding an animal who will not chew their own foot off
just to get away from me.
as soon as it hurts enough, i take all the bad out of my chest and leave it 
on the alter and when i remember touching her,
my palms start to bleed, an old wound reopened 
time and time again, searching for the splinter.

a snare,
a biblical name, 
and it fits.

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Dammit, you can write. This is so incredibly beautiful and visceral - I have always had a fascination, despite not being religious, with holy artefacts and practices: milky Marys with mournful eyes, and thin Jesuses strung from crosses, all smarting palms and ribs like the struts of a ship. It always seemed to be beautiful and sacred and terrifying to me all at once, and that's how your writing feels - so bloody, even the reader hurts, so pretty, it makes my eyes fill, sometimes, with salt.

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