“If you could pick any superpower, what would it be?”
When I was a kid, I had so many good reasons
to become invisible.
First and foremost, I could sneak
into anywhere I wanted,
i.e. Disneyland, without paying.
That doesn’t seem so important anymore.
If I could be invisible now,
I wouldn’t go to Disneyland.
I’d crawl into the backseat of your car
and examine the tiny, thin hairs
sprouting from the back
of your neck.
I know what Romeo would pick.
He’d be a shapeshifter.
I remember reading the line
during freshman year
that everybody in class laughed at;
the line in which Romeo
wishes he were a glove
upon Juliet’s hand.
If I could shapeshift,
I wonder how it would feel
to shift into the wind
and let my vaporous form
sift through the dead leaves
resting on your front porch.
Often, it seems that my
physical presence slaughters
the artistry of observation.
Isn’t it true that humans can
never truly observe?
Scientific studies are impure
because we make an omnipresent
impact on the world around us.
If I weren’t really here,
perhaps my fantasies
would evolve into something
that made more sense.
You ask what my superpower would be.
Such a question
remained meaningless until it
emerged from your mouth.
You ask, and, briefly, I consider
the possibility of mind-reading.
And I chastise myself.
How perverse am I
to consider ever escaping the pure
and human cage of ignorance?
You are not meant
to be read so easily.
Could I shape-shift?
And if I could,
could I be reduced to a pencil on paper
that does nothing but
draw you, erase you, draw you,
and erase you, and draw you,
until you disappear?
I think of my grandparents as still alive. How could I think of them as anything else? How could they not be somewhere parallel to me? Where are they, that could be unreachable? Is this God’s plan for us? Live side by side until one timeline breaks and falls away to he-knows-where-but-I-do-not? Is Papa safe? Is Grandpa George safe? Does suicide take you to the seventh layer of hell? Does hell exist? I think there’s something very wrong about all of this. There is nobody to ask. There is nobody who has gone and come back. The only ones to ask are the unbroken. The dead know now what my body squirms daily to discover. I could have asked them in life but they did not know, not then. Only now. This is unfixable. Unknowable. Putrid, obscene ignorance that sticks in my flesh like shame. It feels like a sin, gathers together suddenly in waves of pure, destitute panic. It’s strange, the way the vulnerability in desperation can sometimes feel akin to an orgasm. My mind lurches to fill its empty spaces and finds no information with which to do so. Nature is infallible because she doesn’t pretend to be kind. God, however. God allows my suffering and still proclaims he is kind.
I wish my false expectations
grew visibly out of my skin
like ridges or horns.
If only the river that
sweeps away my imagination
ran through my blood, so that
if I sliced open my veins, my
imagination would spill out
like water from Jesus’s side.
I wish my fantasies were
stronger than the pooling
clot of shame beneath my ribs.
There is no stopping it, no
plug no plaster no tape no
insult powerful enough to
make this indomitable hope
falter. Why can’t it let
my life unfold however it
has been predestined? And why
do I cling to the thought that
my future will somehow evolve
into a utopia in which my
daydreams blend seamless into
There’s a vision of myself
made wholly out of heaven’s
light. She walks on glass
above her earthbound shell.
She’s an optimist. She’s
immortal. She’s beautiful.
She is blessed with
the gift of discernment
between good and evil. She has
everything she’s ever wanted.
Her world is my hallucination.
If I could touch her, I would
rip her overweening heart out
with my hands.
Spreading your fingers out flat against the table. Friction stopping your soul from falling backwards out of your body and into the maw of hell.
Reality twisting. But what is reality? It’s shifting. This isn’t the truth. God is withholding the truth. This is a simulation test. Soon, the world will turn into focus and you will face judgment.
You love drinking because alcohol is glue and it slaps your halves together.
Is it your instincts that lie to you? Or your insecurity? Or reality itself? Stop thinking about reality. It doesn’t matter what’s real.
When you imagine having conversations, your words flow freely alongside the current of your thoughts. But when you really speak, time freezes like a Tomb Raider quicktime action, only you aren’t allowed to think because everyone is yelling at you to be clever and by everyone I mean you. You hold reality in your hand. That’s a lot of responsibility. And you can’t even keep up with a conversation.
Your instincts are your compass and your compass is broken and there’s no way, there’s absolutely no way, that everyone else feels this incredible sense of urgency.
Aching self hatred.
Stop fucking obsessing. You pathetic fucking worm.
You know if you could stalk people and get away with it, you would. You tell yourself you’re just fascinated by people. I’m sure that’s true. I’m sure it’s normal to fantasize about someone you’ve known for one week. I’m sure that’s normal.
You can’t even fucking kill yourself. Because you’re so afraid of death.
Who did this to you?
you want to envision the whole world
in the brief span of time that it gives you.
to be thrown from the heavens unfurled
cut away from indifference and seen through.
you are translucent illuminating pain
shot through to the hollow and aching
space between your temples. force the rain.
swallow whole every moment that time has taken
away from you. if others exist they are yours
they are yours because God granted you vision.
burn away death with feeling and fire and roar
up into the holy light from which you were risen.
you never asked for this but you’ll take it
whole and wanton and raw and never again
will you allow anything to cheat your spirit.
I thought you knew that God couldn’t be pinned down. You’ve said so many times that his nature is incomprehensible. Why do you tell me we can’t know the concrete truth, but then, with the same tongue and absolute certainty, tell me I’m wrong? There is no absolute truth. I know you think that’s a logical fallacy. But you ignore every logical fallacy I bring to your attention, and you know why, don’t you? You know it’s because there is no absolute reality. You know that, because even the color red changes from human to human. Even eyesight, depth perception, hearing. I’m deaf in my left ear. I can’t hear the birds chirping in the morning. My best friend is schizophrenic. She texted me the other night about the way the voices seemed different than they usually do — they were alarming when usually they’re calm. How come you hate vanilla ice cream when I love it? How come I care so much about hell when you don’t? How come I’m wrong when I say that truth is relative?
Vanilla ice cream is delicious. There is no absolute truth.
Everything about life is subjective. That is the nature of reality and the beauty of it, too. God will not damn me to hell because he did not reveal the same truth to me that he did to you. God is Abba, Father, Mother, Protector of his/her children in life and in death. He knows where our differences lie. He knows that fear will never be solid ground for my faith, even if it is for you. We aren’t the same.
You know that God is the God of second chances. You know the parable of the Farmer and his workers. He hired men to tend his vineyard, and they worked all day starting in the morning. When afternoon came, he found more men waiting for work, and when he asked them why they were waiting, they said nobody had hired them. So he hired them, and they worked until the end of the day. When the Farmer paid all of the workers the same, the ones who had worked from morning complained. “‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’ But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you.'”
God is in control. He will save some of us now and some of us at the mouth of Death. We will never be penalized for waiting.
I’m waiting for God. All of the faithless are waiting. We cannot be cast into hell for the knowledge that is withheld from us.
The road to truth is dim and slippery and every human being is given a separate route.
I’ve found myself struggling to reach a sense of peace.
I haven’t been content since I was a Christian kid.
Dusk felt fresh and everlasting, and on cold nights
at summer camp I would sit by the fire with my
hands tucked into my sleeves. I thought about how
I would die, but I didn’t think about it the way I
do now. I was Christian, so I was guaranteed heaven
when most of the population wasn’t. And I was so
scared that my focus might shift and my worldview
might blend in with society’s until I became part
of the majority that was destined for hell.
Now that’s me, so I haven’t felt stillness for what
seems like a long time. There’s a restlessness
behind everything. Always waiting for peace to come
but no promise that it ever will, just fear and
the intrinsic knowledge that I’ll never really know
anything for certain. It seems melodramatic, but it
seeps into everything. That’s why it’s all I’ve been
able to write about. It’s all I’m able to feel.