If I were white, I could’ve been Jesus in the passion.
No, he wasn’t white, the church reluctantly admits, but
Chad, the varsity quarterback who scored
four touchdowns in one game, makes such a great Son of God!
Brittany, his cheerleader girlfriend and pastor’s daughter,
is already Mary, his mom. Why break such great chemistry
and cause strife among the elders just to make
a political point about an ethnic Jesus?
The college pastor/eHarmony matchmaker
might have tried to set me up with the girl I loved
rather than the only other brown one in the ministry.
Did he not notice how devotedly I followed her,
or was the idea of us together inconceivable?
She would’ve still said no when I asked her out,
but rejection would’ve arrived before the date rather than after
she realized the feelings I expressed to her weren’t just a joke,
and I wouldn’t have spent an entire week preparing
for a chance I never had—not even one in a million.
If I were white, it wouldn’t be so ironic
when white social justice warriors tell me to check my white privilege
because I dared disagree with them on what it means to be different.
I would be their equal rather than their damsel in distress
who congratulates them with cake for defending me against myself.
They wouldn’t call me self-hating because I dislike mariachi music
and never learned Spanish. I chose to follow the goth girl to French instead.
I’d have followed her into the crowd, but black and white clashed with me.
So did the Hispanic and Asian crowds.
I just sat on a bench and watched the goths from afar as I listened
to Morrissey on my smuggled-in Discman.
If I were white, nobody would ask me whether or not the white boy
I take the park is my son; it would never happen.
Nobody would ask me where I was from.
Nobody would respond, “I mean before California,”
when I answered.
If I were white, I could choose my own class.
I’d be the default character: a clean slate, perfectly average
with limitless potential. I would be the human,
not the elf who only works well with magics
or the dwarf who’d better be a tank if he wants to be useful.
I could be a paladin, wizard, or ranger.
I could be a dashing rogue and not just a thug.
I could even be a ninja, because some ninjas are white,
but a ninja of Hispanic or Southeast Asian origins? Inconceivable.
I could be just American. I could be the everyman,
the star of every video game and movie, the god of every religion.
I could be Jesus transfigured, shining in white.
Go fund yourself, I replied when you asked for money.
Begging at burnt bridges surprises nobody, but even
on your Jesus year, you wait on rooftops for miracles
and shoo away would-be friends who won’t pay
to be your clients. You say you’ve earned success,
but what have you done besides plant azaleas
you quit watering when the summer arrived?
The waves washed up your sandcastles,
and your resume has no references because nobody
returns your calls anymore. Those who do,
you threaten to sue or accuse of assault
to shake them down for some investor capital.
I satisfied your wanderlust for a weekend—you burnt me
the next, but I’m not upset the plans we made withered.
I don’t miss your shadow boxing or your crazy antics,
but you aren’t crazy, just spoiled. Exotic eastern spiritualities
can’t fill the holes Hollywood and Paris left in you.
I can’t either—your problems are too large
for my quaint life cultivated through crises you experienced
but never adapted to. You still wear the ring and dress
with a oneway ticket back to your hometown
to see your should’ve-been husband again.
Strike your flint to reignite old flames, but
you already scorched your earth. Ashes won’t burn again.
Say hi to his new family for me.
I had a headache, so I grabbed a bottle of Tylenol.
The instructions suggested two pills, but my head
really hurt so I grabbed a few more—I took forty,
but I still couldn’t sleep. They fell out my mouth
before they could work. The doctors smoldered
me with charcoal, threatened me with catheters.
Three days I lay undead in a hospital bed,
wondering why I even tried. I wanted life
outside of dreams in which I couldn’t move or speak
and thought I’d wake up if I pinched hard enough.
Comparisons to the incontinent in convalescence
convinced me to give life another try. I could walk,
talk, think, dream. I just couldn’t speak, but maybe
I’d find my voice if I continued the effort.
Prozac, Paxil, Wellbutrin never helped; surely Zoloft would!
I left that hospital with newfound appreciation for life,
ready to write, make new friends, find true love.
All I had needed was a more positive attitude spiced
with courage to sweeten my dull days, and I finally found it!
Three days later, I lost it, but I couldn’t try again.
Plan B already failed, and I couldn’t experiment.
I was just a teenager without a car, without a gun,
afraid of the world, afraid of trains, afraid of razor blades.
That summer of ninety-nine, I gave up on death
and spent the rest of my time in bed listening
to my thoughts as the Cure sedated me.
I say I hate Jesus and his body, but that’s not really true.
I cried during the Passion; not as much as I did for Batman,
but I still felt bad for him as he hung from the cross.
I admire Francis and his namesake, Wilberforce and Bell too.
Ignoring all deities, we overlap more than we disagree
and work to make Heaven a place on Earth just as Carlisle sings.
I was sick once, so I went to church, but a hospital’s no use
when overrun by the inmates, and though diagnosed mentally ill,
I’m not so crazy that I’ll embrace hate and call it love,
tighten up marriage while loosening my pants for Ashley Madison,
cultivate life while I celebrate the deaths of jaywalking teens,
show more love toward a flag than children who are gay, trans,
female, black, or anybody else considered second class.
Though born again, I’m still old enough to understand hypocrisy;
I understood since I was three.
The body of Christ is sick, covered in its own shit,
anus agape, pouring out keepers of broken promise
from the Duggars and Robertsons to the Camerons and Grahams,
mimicking Ace Ventura as it speaks to the world
and declares itself the salt of the earth because it’s stench
stings the eyes and wounds of every lost soul.
It needs a bath in water, fire, and vinegar.
Scrub away all the Republican. Underneath,
there may be flesh worth following. If not,
at least it’ll be clean.
He climbs onto my shoulders like I’m his titan. He steers me in the right direction with constant detours toward the toy section. Little hands break my faux-hawk style and give me bed-head despite not touching the mattress since he left his. My racoon eyelids hide beneath the glow I get whenever he speaks his five-year-old dialect. Even though he strains my neck, my back has never stood as firm before I fought to protect him against pitbulls and bullish parents who bite and poke to try to shape him into a well-behaved, medically tranquil, spiritually wrangled model citizen like generations of men who knew discipline and respect and still enslaved nations and murdered the rest. I block their volleys. I won’t shock him off me even when he’s running on walls I remain beside him, guarding his journey through the frontier.
r u hungry? let’s go 2 panera!! :)
thats cool. im busy 2. :(
still need help w/math?? im a wiz! :)
no didnt take statistics :( maybe i can help anyway :)
how’s the essay coming along? need help with that? :)
no. i never read that book.
ready for a break? let’s hang out a bit. i’m just chillin’ in the library.
that’s a lot of homework. i have lots too. i should work on my essay.
No, I finished it, but I should probably look over it again. :) See you next week!
Oh. Well, have fun at Disneyland with your boyfriend. I’m so jealous.