my mother won’t like that I’m writing this poem
my mother believes in God.
her faith is a part of her, entwined deep in blood and veins.
so quiet and unassuming that I didn’t know it was there
until I asked.
my mother sees God in the eyes of my father, sister and myself.
she taught me that God is love and forgiveness,
forgetting that she is holy for the same reasons.
my mother won’t like that I’m writing this poem.
this has the potential to tear me apart.
I am afraid to be open about this.
if I expose all of this unknowing, it will pour out as blood.
if you can hear me God, please make sure that it is only mine.
so much blood has already fallen.
please, do not add hers to the list.
you stretched your womb for me,
became the first ocean that I ever swam in.
people say that we are two halves of one whole.
somewhere in my body, there remains an echo of you.
a room graffitied with your handwriting, the scent of fresh vanilla.
I love you more than I will ever worship any God.
I am so sorry.
I am scared.
this rebellion has been growing within me for too long.
I thought that faith was supposed to be an anchor
to hold you when the waves are rough
the light behind one’s eyelids when they are closed
the sounds you make when you laugh.
instead, it’s turning into war and burning.
it’s razing my insides.
colonizing my heart with pain.
the roof above my soul is open to the wrath of whatever is above me.
please, just let me fall into gentle disrepair.
let me forget your name, stop all of the chanting in my sleep.
either show yourself to me or get out.
I have to stop using all of these names
and memorizing the words.
how am I supposed to tell someone I love more dearly than myself
that her way, her truth and her light are not mine?
at prayer times, I can feel the call with every beat of my heart.
I’m too young to worry about whether my family will go to Heaven, to Paradise with me.
I need Your strength to lift my knees off of these rugs.
my mother needs to vacuum and I fear that if she catches me,
her bones will turn back to the dust from which You created
Eve knew the despair that came from disappointing her Father,
but His sorrow has nothing on
By Chelsea Houston
Chelsea Houston is an eighteen year old writer, poetess, and soon to be college student. She is a feminist, tree hugger, and people lover. Her main goal in writing is to spread light and warmth. Her work has previously been published in The Fem Literary Magazine and Fifteen13 Press. You can find more of her work athttp://hellopoetry.com/chelsea-jean/.