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. 

Holy me.

Tyler Hurula (she/her) is a poet based in Denver, Colorado. She is queer and polyamorous, and is cat mom to two fur babies and a plethora of plants. Her poems have been published previously in Anti-Heroin Chic and Aurum Journal. Her poems feature love, polyamory, family, growing up, and being queer. Her top three values are connection, authenticity, and vulnerability; she tries to encompass these values in her writing as well as everyday life.

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