EMILY KELLOGG

ars poetica 

perhaps it’s because I lied as a girl 
I stole candy from the grocery store 
and never told

I never told 

I never told the things
I was supposed to but
I never told the things 
I wasn’t either

perhaps it’s because I watched 
my parents dunked in a bay reborn 
in the son of a God who speaks but 
never to me

I never told Him either 

perhaps it’s because of the shivering 
exhales of the exorcism 
in dwindling Sunday 
the pastor’s daughter and I 
playing hide and seek in makeshift pews

I never found the demon but maybe 
he took up residence in the cracked skin of my lips
and maybe that’s why I never told 

the language of tongues 
too close to confession for
a tarnished girl with no place 
in the Kingdom 

perhaps it’s because as a girl 
I could not distinguish my voice 
from the warbling worship of a God 
who never wanted me 

at least someone did 

but what is god but man 
and what is man but fear
and what is fear but orgasm 

I am marked 

I know I will never be raptured
so I wrest my voice back
discordant from dulcet psalm 

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