I Give Up

Sister Alma Rose Prays for Surrender


Take possession of my heart, O precious
Father-Mother, for I do not use it
well. It’s true, I open it a crack
now and again, but then I do not know quite
what to do, and so I put the shutters
back and hide here in my room, where I have
pallid and opaque reminders of your
glory, second-hand, like faded Polaroids
from nineteen-hundred-fifty-two.

I have withheld my heart from you because I
was afraid that I might join the tiresome
Bible-thumping choir, forever quoting
Scripture, but reflexively, too weary
sloshing in the mire of modern thought to
hunt for truth among the crocodiles and
other predators of souls who talk of
love but practice judgment in their
robes of smug superiority.

Among your attributes is love; I cannot
manufacture it; you are the only vendor,
and the only price is the detritus of a
broken life — and that, you condescend to
carry off, as humble as the man who
hauls old, rusted cars away and sells
the useful parts among the heaps of junk. And
what becomes of the corroded pieces, well, I’m
loath to say; perhaps they are recycled into
sunbeams by your alchemy; perhaps they
are what burns in hell, but only to be
purified for further usefulness or cast as
mountains, valleys, pastures…. maybe ground to
earth… for distant universes, other
Edens, other births. Amen


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