Kai Johnson

as pure as eve before the apple; as naïve as dawn to raging dawn and scorching droughts,
raw as lilith’s palms & hagar’s onyx cheek.

how our captors made shrines of our breaking
these holy men with names we speak so slow
and reverent sinned so deep in our spines
we bled jesus. 

this was never a love song. this is a dirge. a baptism & a birth undone.
the sacrament of bleeding, biting tongue to take communion. 

‪I was birthed of a God and a devil
I became war and wrath

My mother smiled a rosary of nooses
And blade became salvation

Sadness sews a certainty
of crucifixed confessions
and I bled myself
a God outside my chest. 

I am not mine to annihilate, for where can a God escape
Themself but in a hell of one’s creation. 

Where shall I run
that Sheol won’t swallow whole
like the dagger in my throat,
I smile a rose bloomed crimson. 

Can Christ escape the carnal mind
or does it rage against the gates of gethsemane? 

What Christ must I die to but my own flesh?

I am not mine to annihilate, but my honeysuckle veins ache,
hummingbird God outside my chest. 

The caged bird sings itself into a silence, and a feral yowl births of sin and shame.
Every day is a clawing at my insides, the blood red bruise of Godhood. 

I am a God I cannot escape, I throw myself at my own feet and worship.

In the beginning, the word was made flesh and I spoke myself a galaxy ignited,
I call my own name in this darkened glory. 

I am a vast & devastating beauty; a conflagration blooming forest fires.
men fall and call my name, beg mercy of my benediction
as I belt hymns of my own holy—



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