I wrote this poem after a particularly long shift at work; I had already been battling writer’s block that week, and with college essays on my mind I felt I needed to write creatively instead of academically in that moment. I know a lot of my writings on this blog page are centered around romantic thoughts/feelings/impressions, but the intention behind this poem was not simply to express romantic heartbreak but to analyze the nature of the two relationships present in the text—the relationship between the speaker and their God versus the relationship between the speaker and the romantic figure.
The comparison of these two figures in the speaker’s life—the God and the “he”—is left purposefully ambiguous. There are times when the reader does not know which one the poem is referring to. The symbolism behind that phenomenon is what I wanted to express in my poem; not the heartbreak and/or crisis of faith directly described but the intense similarities between romantic and religious relationships implied, especially when both leave the speaker wanting.
I performed this poem for a collection of my peers while attending Yale Young Global Scholars. I was nervous about how the audience would receive the message, being that my relationship with religion is extremely unique and most of the listeners had already expressed previously how unfamiliar they were with personal religious experiences at all. However, I was surprised by the amount of people that understood the message went deeper than a romantic relationship gone wrong, and I was very grateful for the opportunity to share some of my work with an appreciative audience.
My God, With Love
I believe the day he kissed me,
the God I used to believe knew his intention.
While he watched my head and my heart begin to spin,
God feared the dizziness that was about to set in.
I think the day he left me,
after everything about me had been
ripped limb from limb from aching limb,
that is the day I’ll talk about when my children
too have had their hearts broken.
When their God becomes someone with the power to dismantle
every inch of their skin,
and when their thoughts become raw from the shards of glass cutting in
to what they thought was their future, it is then
that my God stopped being all knowing.
It is then that I knew I couldn’t think of any more synonyms
to describe what heartbreak felt like, and I had to simply let it begin.
I hope the day I met him,
my God immediately regretted intertwining our fingers,
because he saw that loving that boy would drain
my blood and stain my soul bright red with sin.
I hope the day those background violins
revealed themselves to be lies painted golden
to match what would have been
our fireworks, had they forgotten to end,
I hope that day was not foreseen by my God but happened only when
my heart decided to turn blind in the face of
the bruises blossoming across my skin,
for only then will I accept God’s useless chagrin.
Mostly though, I hope the day I kissed him,
when our bodies knew for that moment
what it was like to love with every one of our thoughts imprinted
into each other,
I hope that will be the day I’ll play over, and over, and over again,
when I want to remember what I loved about the God
I used to believe in.
And when I want to remember what I loved about him,
I’ll remember the smile he flashed that one dark night,
and his hands, the ones that later committed the sin,
and his love, before I watched it rescind.
So to that God, whenever my next love shall arrive,
please let me keep him.
I long to remember what it was to be loved by both a man,
and a God,
without watching them destroy what I so badly want to believe in.