I was raised by paradox
and Southern tunnel vision
where God was a magic word
who mostly brought beatings
when we gave a damn.
There was power in a book
of weird translations
that made no sense
that everyone swore by…
The bigger and fancier the Bible
the holier you were esteemed.
Fancy church ladies had
flowers and lace hugging
unregulated misogyny
and rules few followed
but claimed they’d die for ….

I could never make sense
of the Trinity
or how God as Jesus
could “die for us”
or how dying could
take away sins we
didn’t know we’d made.
Seeking clarification
itself was a sin…
was the devil whispering.

I remained “a good girl”
until Philosophy 101
when my entire belief system
crashed into history,
stolen myths
with names changed.
God was a plagiarist
mean and proud,
warring for possessions
under holy pretense
and a hypocrite
breaking the rules
enforced on us.
Of course He was us.
We made him in our image.

Yet I hold reverence
for the mystery of Life:
infinity that bogles the mind…
our webbed connections
and roots of Love.
I call this God.
I believe.
Belinda Subraman has been writing poetry since the 6th grade and publishing since college. She had a ten year run editing and publishing Gypsy Literary Magazine (last century). Six of those ten years were from Germany where she was a Bohemian outcast among officer wives. She edited books by Vergin' Press, among them: Henry Miller and My Big Sur Days by Judson Crews. Forthcoming from Unlikely Books: Left Hand Dharma: New and Selected Poems.
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