This poem may still be in the midst of the editorial process. I don’t really know for sure. I like this version, and I think it’s fun to read out loud. I’ve been struggling a little bit lately because I feel that poetry is really best shared out loud more than on a page, or at least that there needs to be some greater dimension of interaction between the writer, the material, and the reader. So, I’ve been using social media such as Instagram and Snapchat to share. The trouble this time is that those platforms are designed for shorter messages than this. Hmm… always experimenting. Always learning.
In case you’d rather read the poem yourself, here’s the full text.
Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. I haven't been to confession since the fifth grade. I came here to confess that I have left behind every scrap of faith I ever had and I wish to account for it. I want you to know that I prayed to your god and I told him what I was going to do and he did not stop me. I knelt twice a week at the feet of that poor man and sculpted his ribs with my eyes and untied in my mind the shred of cloth at his hips. I had his blood on my lips and he did not ask me to stay. Sweet child of a man, he rolled his eyes to God and prayed himself away so you could take his name in vain -- but he did not ask me to stay. I want you to know that I don’t miss the Sunday morning fashion show or your admonitions or the hypnotic repetition of unthinking prayers in our monotone drone -- worker bees stoned on incense and wine, keeping an empty ritual just to fill the time repeating the spell of our own binding I believe I believe I believe we loved our endless litany of saints and sins all taken in the legato of suburban life. I want you to know that in the desert outside your home where you said I’d be alone, I found an ocean of love like you’ve never known and I dove right the fuck in and it was good. And out here, none of us are who you said we were. We are so much more. I want you to know I’m going away, and I’m not coming back.
I probably will do a bit of editing, and I’ll maybe change the first line since it doesn’t create quite the tone I want to start with. I don’t actually seek forgiveness, as the poet or as the speaker of this poem, so I find that line misleading and a little cliched. The reason I’ve kept it this way so far is that I don’t know exactly what I want to change it to and that I was trained with great emphasis as a child that all confessions were supposed to start that way. I’ll let it rest for now and see what comes up with a little time.