so are you happiness, god – a poem

so are you happiness, god – a poem

i think the moon may be god to me
outback behind my house
she shines down, smiles, blesses
and i ask for love and support
i need her help

dear god
may you bring a joy back into my heart
and a loved one back from their careening path
towards the darkness of a ditch

it’s not pretty here god
just now
it’s not how i prayed it would be
from last year

i was happy then
i was in denial
but happy

i guess my prayers don’t really work
because i pray a lot
and i sing a lot
and i bend a knee, get down
on my motherfucking knees a lot
god

as the moon i can see some of your nicer features
a quiet benevolence and calm
especially at 4:28 am
as the summer’s heat is beginning to remind us
it’s summer
we’re in texas
and you know what you’re getting into

god, i’m sorry this morning
that i’m not feeling a closer connection
and that you’re letting my brother expire
in a lazy sad collapse
like grey sand through an hourglass
and even his smile is beginning to disappear
like the cat from alice in wonderland
he will poof, be gone, and silent
and you
somewhere you
somehow you
are up there

right?
i mean, good things happen to bad people
certainly the opposite is true
but when we pray for salvation
when we put our hearts and minds into it
when we actually fucking ask you god
for a hand
for a miracle
for life
we get christians
and the bible
and promises
and some platitudes about “what’s meant to be”
or “for your own good”
or “god’s will, not mine”

you know what god, fuck off
and you bright white moon
of mothering lovely pillow-like powder face
fuck you too
because i know you see me
i know you hear me
i’m here
right now
i’m begging
i’m praying
and i already know the answer

you’ve got nothing to say
you didn’t save me as a kid
you aren’t going to save him

so, i’m not asking for me, god
i’m not praying for me, this morning
i’m giving thanks in some perverted way
i’m able to be grateful for my life
and the lives of my loved ones
and even the lives of enemies and lovers
who’ve gone to seed

i’m not asking for me, or them, or even my brother

god

i’m just asking
what the fuck
where do we get off
and are we going there together
i’m as prodigal as fuck
and you’re not responding the way i expected
the way i’d hoped
oh i can feel the gravity, the tides, the open arms
i can hear your church band
doing soulless “worship music”
everyone singing their hearts out
everyone praising god
each other
our good fortune
the interest rates and black unemployment
everyone’s talking about how it’s getting good again

except me, god
i’m not singing your praises
just now
i’m not singing as much as i’d like
i mean, i feel like singing
i feel blessed
as i feel tired and somewhat disarrayed
here under the white patient light
of your love

i guess this is not a prayer, god
i am asking for something
but we’ve had this discussion before
and you keep your silence
and friends keep consoling
and counseling a patient recovery period

period
god
period
that’s the end of the sentence
and prayer
period
that’s the end of my older brother
period
that’s the bang you put in my life from time to time
to remind me i’m still alive

i see you, up there
i smile at you
and i hope for you
to shine down on me
for another year of growth and blessings
and tragedy

tragedy
because we know that’s coming too
and no prayers
no tears
no righteous living or spiritual community
is going to temper the death blow

in some sense, god
i do hope you’re up there
i do hope my sister and father are up there with you
and that my brother, though unsaved
is coming home to his spiritual heart
back to the source
back
to
life

away from all we know
as we die
alone
we seek out
a face
a prayer
a consolation
a belief

maybe from childhood i loved you
maybe from the presbyterian church
who still hates gays, these days
maybe from my earliest memories of feeling happy
have i equated it with you, god

so are you happiness, god

at the moment
i’m at a loss for words
a pray has petered out
puttered to it’s muttering end
in
one
last
prayer

save me
god
for something
wonderful

5-30-18

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