Amanda Brauchler is a literature student from New York who aims to use poetry as a means of trying to make some sort of sense of the human condition.
To Be Loved By A God
Holy hands touch sin-soaked skin,
lay flat on lovers backs.
as They smile
sun shines from behind Their lips.
The mortal boy hums happily into bedsheets.
To be loved by a God means to be loved
By something much larger than you can ever imagine;
More completely, more selflessly, more complexly
And a little more harshly.
Deities have no need for labels of
gender or sexual identity.
They do not understand, at first,
why Their lover is scared to hold Their hand in public.
Gods try not to get angry when Their lovers
shy away from Their touch.
Instead, They get angry at the others
who dare to use Their names to speak on
things they do not understand.
To be loved by a God means to be loved
more than you have words to explain.
They will laugh at your inability to fill
the gaps of your language.
There are some things
you just don’t need to say.
On the days that you don’t feel beautiful
They will paint portraits on your skin with Their lips.
For the first time in your life you will realize your worth.
Everything that you have ever hated about yourself
will become an offering to Them at your bedroom altar.
To be loved by a God means knowing
They will leave.
What business does a God have spending time
with a withering mortal?
But mortals will always wait naively by an open door
with fond smiles on their faces as they tell young people
about a kind of love that makes you believe
that you are something divine.
Cream and Sugar
I met Jesus in a coffee shop. I sat down across
from him and smiled. “Do you take your coffee black?”
I asked, trying to make polite conversation. “No, I need a lot of
cream and sugar,” he said as if he had said it a million times
before. “I don’t know why that surprises me,” I said. “Because
you think my Father and I are bitter. They all do,” he said.
“I don’t,” I said, “I never did.” He smiled. “That’s a first.
Do you have any questions? People always want to ask me questions.” “If
you wouldn’t mind,” I said, “I don’t want to interrupt your coffee
or intrude. Mostly I wanted to say hello.” He shook his head with a
large smile. “No, I don’t mind at all. I love to meet new people,” he said. “But
we are not strangers,” I said, “I have known you my whole life. I am
sure you’re the first person I ever knew.” He laughed, fully, with
his entire body. “You make a good point. In that case, you really shouldn’t be afraid
to ask me anything,” he said. “You make a good point,” I said. “Why do
people think you and your Father hate people like me?” He sighed
and took a long drink of his coffee. “That’s a difficult question and
I hope you know that it isn’t true. I thought I was so clear on
how much I love everyone.” “I know,” I said,
“I don’t blame you.” He smiled. “Are you a sinner?”
he asked. “Of course,” I said, “But so were you. My sin does not
erase all of my love.” He nodded. “You’re right, of course. Do you have any other
questions for me?” “A million and one,” I said, “There is not enough time in the world
to ask them all. Why did you die for us? Why weren’t you selfish? When
your Father said you had to die, were you angry? Do you ever feel like you’re burning
in your own skin, or is that just me? Do you weep for us when we make
mistakes? Do you have days when you just can’t get out of bed
too? I feel like I say ‘I’m sorry’ too much but can you please let me know
I’m doing something right?” He leans over the table and kisses my forehead
with a fading smile on his face. “You must be so sad. It’s me who
should be sorry,” he says. “Sir?” the barista asks. I turned to look
at her. “Who are you talking to?” she asked.
“An old friend,” I said, mostly to myself.
“I love you” and other declarations of war
You sit next to me on the train
close enough to look like friends
far enough to not get strange looks and you
lean over to whisper in my ear
you look so nice today.
I hiss back
we can’t afford your blasphemy.
You just laugh.
You have always been less careful than I.
At a coffee shop when we’re sat
across the table from each other
our hands reach for sugar and yours
lingers just a little too long next to mine
and I want to smack the smile off of your face
you don’t know what you are risking here this
is your first time out in the open you
have never known what it is to be hated for your love.
Being with you is knowing that any moment
could be our last and you
are not careful enough with that knowledge.
you hold hands with reckless abandon
kiss without care while I
make sure to check over our shoulders I
am starting to resent being the bodyguard for
everything we are.
At home when we are
finally alone you smile and press
kisses into my collarbone and you whisper
I love you
and I whisper
don’t say things like that.
and I wonder when you will stop
finding novelty in our hiding place.