It’s been twelve years since I believed
I couldn’t kiss
girls without being struck
down by Moroni’s gold trumpet.
You told me waiting until I was eight
to get baptized meant it was my own choice
as if eight-year-olds can make a decision
about eternity. At the same age I was
confused when you asked me to change
out of my tank top and cover
my shoulders because my body belongs
to men, and I needed to save
them from my tempting flesh. I cloaked
myself in modesty and learned to cover
up my shame. My goodnight prayers
were passages of the Book of Mormon, studied
through the dim light of my lava lamp,
confirming to myself and God I was worthy
of salvation. When my parents divorced,
you laid out your unwelcome mat.
Said you wanted me, but decided
you didn’t want the stain
of my parents’ failed marriage splashed
across the pews like wine spilled
on an altar cloth – so it was just easier
not to meet my eyes anymore.
Thank you for your unwelcome mat.
For giving me the opportunity to doubt
my faith and turn toward the benevolence
of my own angelic light. To question
the lines on those brass plates
and the doctrine made up by you
old white men judging from atop your gilded
steeple. I’ve since seen through the veil
of your omnipresent bullshit, and came
out shouting my truth louder
than the testimonies poured out at the pulpit.
I wrote out my own family proclamation –
anointed myself with a family full of
fierce feminist, polyamorous queers.
Now at 28 I still hesitate at the coffee
shop to decide which flavor
to add to my morning latte. I give
myself the grace to forgo any eternal
decisions. I’ve never felt closer to God
than now when I am wholly me –
Wholly me with my bodily temple
plastered in stained glass tattoos.
Wholly me and my eternally unfiltered
mouth, seasoning my sentences
with swears, never hesitating
to speak up and never seeking redemption
for my blasphemic proclamations.
Wholly me and my sacramental
wine Wednesdays, with my radiant
purple tarot cloth spread out over my altar,
singing psalms to the moon.
Wholly me and my sacred tenderness,
wrapping myself in the embrace
of my loves, their blushes loud enough to
drown out Moroni’s gold trumpet.