Hymn for the Moth
Stop fence sitting and give up God, you once said.
Now, you write every month just to let me know
that you never stopped lying.
When you told me about the other women
I wanted to believe in God, ache with forgiveness.
Maybe this is a test, one that will keep us all
from burning, so we can remain beautiful.
But I didn’t say that. I said our prayers
for us, I lit an arrow, blew out the flame,
lit it again. Somewhere this is happening to
somebody else. Somewhere a choir rises
to sing Hallelujah. But here, it is midnight
and I have nothing to believe in
except the steady bleat of moths
against the window screen. They want
to get at light. They want to bruise
with belief. Who can blame them?
It was funny then that you began to collect
Bibles, stolen from motel dressers. Crimson
covered, inscribed with dates of theft.
You gave them sanctuary, religion
stacked in our corners until you’d forgotten
why you lifted them in the first place.
Now, your new lover hides them under the dust
ruffle. As they dimple the underside of the mattress,
disrupting your sleep, you wonder if this is what belief
feels like. Hard, punishing, a remembrance of me.