Through glass gates, through purple doors,
thirteen handshakes, thirteen how are you’s.
“I’m fine” on my march to the cushioned pews
to partake in traditions I caught three years ago,
psalms to a savior I no longer know,
sermons from rich white men I’ve heard before,
words that reap amens and hallelujahs from the choir
and sow stillborn seeds in my stillborn heart.
Through each station, legs drag heavier
toward my place in the church, away from the preachers
who turn from my black cracking lips, away from the elders
who turn from my black crucifix, away from the friends
who turn from my black bleeding heart, away in a corner
that nobody sees, that nobody passes, that nobody knows.
But then she returned Easter Sunday. The choir sang as she slid
beside me. Emerald eyes caught mine and killed the night
with untempered light. From her mouth came six strikes
of the ruby sword that pierced my heart, killed my mind, took my life.
She carried me to the empty chapel, the baptism pool.
Hands and mouth stripped flesh and heart of all shrouds,
her ruby sword blinded eyes and dumbed my mouth.
She ate my flesh, and I ate hers. She drank my love, and I drank hers.
I dove in her water, drowned in her blood, died in her gates,
rose in her arms. The quakes cracked the curtain
of the old temple. She led me through the purple velvet,
back into the light, into the living world, back beneath the Sun.