Be Not Afraid By Amy Lauren

Be Not Afraid

Police point at John’s dark skin,
thick beard laden with locusts
and honey dripping from his rags
when he carries signs down
city streets and calls for crowds
to remember that black lives matter.
Man of god on the streets
rails for men to repent or perish
while they cuff his hands behind him.

When Mary beats her fists on the table
and begs her family to believe the rape,
they brush off this teenager in hysterics,
this girl who just wants attention
or an easy abortion to erase the night
where she just drank one too many
and regrets her poor decisions now.
You girls lose virginity like cell phones,
they say.

The Angel of the Lord dressed as a man,
Gabriel, shouts like a trumpet to announce
that same-sex couples can have children
(be not afraid, I have good news for you)
their new neighbors glare at them
on the streets, and vow to vote for
lawmakers to legislate it away,
as if the angel were Cassandra,
just another false prophet.

They cover their ears and ask
why they should love anyone
with a different kind of family,
the single-income single mothers
or the ragged, homeless prophets
wandering the streets.
Just read the Good Book, they say,
shoving scrolls deep down
John’s open throat.

By Amy Lauren


Amy Lauren is a graduate student in Mississippi. Among other publications, her poetry appears or is forthcoming in Wherewithal Lit, Lavender Review, and Sinister Wisdom.

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