UNDERGROUND VOICES: POETRY - 10/2011

CYNTHIA RUTH LEWIS

Backseat Angel

I was only 13 when you taught me;
when I learned about God
and the devil
all in the same night

you told my mother we were going for a drive.
You pulled into the church's empty parking lot
turned off the engine
and told me you wanted to tell me all about God--
that you wanted to be the one to teach me
since you were the preacher's son,
that there was a lot you could tell me;
anything I needed to know
then you told me to lie down in the backseat
and close my eyes so I could learn all about
Heaven and Hell

It seemed they became one and the same that night.
You told me to relax
that you were just going to baptize me
and pray for my soul
then you took my clothes off
and pierced me with your faith
and red-hot fire shot between my legs
and I knew in the back of my mind
that none of the stories I'd ever heard about God
went this way;
I never knew that God meant pain
but you said it was okay
that this was the way it was supposed to be
and I saw your eyes flash like a wild man
and made me think of pictures I'd seen
of what the devil might have looked like
and you assured me then
that everything was all right
that this was simply
how angels were made
then you smiled a twisted smile
and shoved into me deeper, grunting like an animal
so I closed my eyes, bit my tongue
and waited until it was all over
until you were done
trying to focus my mind on other things
trying to listen between your grunts and groans
training my ear to pick up the merest whisper;
the slightest rustle
of new-grown wings









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