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The Searching


I searched for God
In bookshelves, between the pages
And bound leather notebooks
Lying dusty both ones that you “should be reading”
And ones that clearly aren’t graced by His touch.

I searched for Him in pools
I’d open my eyes under the water
Goggles or not, it didn’t matter
If I came up and my eyes stung
That was my own fault, I suppose.

I searched for Him in emptiness
In Grandpa’s basement with all the old toys
In Caela’s dairy farm with silent, staring cows
In Jaja’s old hat, his button-up, photos of him
His old wrinkled face resonated within me
He died before I turned three.
He saw God before I could even have the chance to see Him.

In fact if anything I’ve had an easier time
Seeing the Devil
See as it turns out--he’s not just one person he’s many
And maybe the Devil is not so bad as we originally thought
And I need not go far to see him,
Unlike God who I have looked for
On busted, bloody knee
Praying for salvation, for light, for some sign
That He was looking after me--
As it turns out my only destiny
Lie within the flames below.
Comforting in their warmth, surprisingly.


There Lucifer stood before me--his smile was prideful
It was full of malice and sharp teeth but he still said to me
I won’t hurt you. Come closer, human.
Watch these weary fawn legs tiptoe closer to him
How have you fallen from Heaven, I say
His arms surrounding me, Lucifer’s not GOD’s
The Lord is not looking out for me
Morning star, son of the sky;
Every language denotes you as some child of the midnight.
You have so many names and are you going to steal mine, too?
Will you take my soul and roast it with the other sinners?
Or am I exempt because I came by my own volition?
Lucifer has no answers for me, his arms just grip me tighter,
They beg me not to go, as if he has been lonely
For many, many, many years
His fall did not break any bones but it did break his heart.


If there were any man’s hands I so desperately wanted all over me
Like in a sickeningly possessive way it would most definitely
Well the award would go to the Prince of Gold, of money
The almighty dollar bill as I used to say
You can’t serve both God and Mammon but I think
He’s the one serving me honest to Christ
If there’s a man who begs it’s Mammon
His name is like meat in my mouth it turns over and over
Mammon, Mammon, Mammon
I never seem to tire, I keep wanting that name for myself
So maybe I’m the greedy one
Is it truly greed if he continues to give and give?
Gives his whole soul away for a chance at redemption?
Tell me I’ve been good. I want so bad to be good.
A voice that echoes in my heart
A sound that mirrors ones I’ve made before too--
A begging God could not honor.


The figure of envy cowered alone in his room
Looking about as pitiful as any thin twig of a boy could
There were words conjured in my mind upon looking at him
Leviathan, a name that sat heavy and pine-needles on my tongue
I could feel the jealousy radiating off of him--
What are you so jealous of, Leviathan,
I have nothing more than you--if anything
I have far, far less, and you have much, much more.
Violet eyes bore into my spirit and stir it, cold and beckoning
His body may as well be poetry
My body may as well be paper
The patron of jealousy wants to bore his claws deep into me
Dig into my neck like a parasite
Destroy me from the inside out
Thankfully he resists and I discover the truth--
Just stay a little longer. I don’t want to be alone.
I oblige. I stray further from le soleil


The name Satan conjures up many images in my head
Any toe-dip into the ideas surrounding Catholicism or just
Christianity in general, tell you that:
Satan is the one who betrayed God’s will
And thus fell from Heaven, wings broken and
Cast down to the deepest pits of Tartarus [wait, I mean Hell]
I think of that beautiful angel, cheeks stained with oily tears
Wiping them away with a look of cruelty
Alexandre Cabanel, 1847, beautiful work though I never studied it
I think of a poem, of the devil, Satan, he whispers into my box
That he will free me--a poem I discovered out of pure will
From researching poets from pieces of paper I received in school
Sharon Olds, 1980, words that shook me to my core
I see Satan in the here and now, the self-hatred teeming off his firm body
Nose buried in an old dusty tome, pupils flicker to me, teeth bared
Don’t you write poetry?
I do. That’s what I’m doing right now, muse.


Hands all over me, you make me feel so fucking naughty
So much so that my vulgar sailor-mouth slipped through
So to my dearest Asmodeus, prince of sexual desires
Yes, I’ve dreamed of your caramel locks between my fingers
Yes, I’ve dreamed of your skin on mine, exposed brilliantly
Yes, I’ve dreamed of knowing you in a carnal sense
But that does NOT mean you own me
I belong to nobody and my body belongs to me
I cannot allow myself to be swept away by such frivolity
Involving the sexual loneliness of the devil of lust
But if you curl around me, late in night
And if you whisper tenderly in my ear
This is the only way that people like me.
I may turn to you
Grip you tight
And never let go--let me guide you
How I saw myself as my own man
Hold tight, never let go;
Hold tight, never let go.


So silence pours itself off from between
The edges of cabinet doors and light dripping in
From a handheld candle, wax trails
Over fingers, over your hands that try to tenderly hold
And you say your hands are too big to ever love
That these mouths which encircle and consume you
Will only destroy what is put in front of it
All I do is eat, eat, eat.
And strictly I refused to believe that because
Tender eyes don’t look upon people like that
If all they do is eat, eat, eat
So consume me wholly if you desire because
I am more than my body and heart I am my soul
And our souls can mend together like this
Until you feel full
Until you’ve eaten for the last time
Are you ready?


I don’t think you’re a hopeless case
And if you can’t trust yourself then let me trust you
For you
We can’t separate ourselves from sin
But we can accept it as a piece of ourselves
Whether you see it as a flaw or a priority
Figure it out for yourself; I’ll be here
Resting and opening my chest for another gardener
Bearing seed and planting it in my heart
Violets in his eyes and roses in his teeth
Moonlight on his skin and the breath of the world in his body
And they say sloth is condemned to dig for eternity
Until he cannot dig any more
I’m asking if you’ll stand with me
And demand for a better tomorrow
Even if it seems hopeless--can you do that for me?
Can you do that for a human like me?


I don’t think there’s such a thing as salvation for someone like me.
Take this cup from me, and let me drink from the river.
I have done wrong, so let me rise and atone.