Baptism

I.

Forgive me, father, for I have sinned

 

II.

Fluorescent lights contrast dawn

the Sun has yet to break

the bounds of its earthly domain.

Staring into the mirror

as it fogs with steam. 

Five years old standing before myself 

pouted lips, set jaw

Determined. 

 

I know how this goes

alone. 

Raise the veil, pause, steam,

suffocate. 

I gasp, flinch but do not remove 

the mask from my face. 

Hold hold hold

to cleanse. 

The rag cools and I finally lift

skin tingling, fresh and new. 

 

III.

At what age is one no longer a child?

I had decided at eight

that I was too old to cry out 

in the shower

and did not flinch 

as pellets of fire attacked, ricocheted

off of every spot of my body. 

 

IV.

Forgive me, father, for I have wronged

 

V. 

I am slipping

I have no control

over my mind, over my body. 

Over my dead body. 

 

Words are my weapon

my only shield to protect myself from

you

I refuse to be quieted.

 

VI. 

You don't know what I do

you don't know who I am

you don't, you couldn't. 

 

I don't need your prayers

paper cannot heal broken bones. 

 

Tell me you'll beat me

beat me until I cry

beat me until the tile runs red

so I can feel something again. 

 

VII. 

At twelve I could not know

your pain, your suffering

you have endured much more than I. 

Yet when I stand in the shower

I can feel the fiery lash 

once, twice, thrice more 

each pellet driving further

to mine what little I have left.

 

VIII.

Forgive me, father, for I have loved

 

IX.

The heart wants what it wants

and yet

I am left in the dark.

What is it that you want?

 

X.

I love the way you laugh

dark, sweet, slow alto

filling me with warmth.

Wrap your arms around me

I long to touch, to feel

to smell your oaky musk

on the sheets beside me.

I am home.

 

XI.

Dance in my head

hair licking like flame

I am a moth.

You fiendish mistress

why do you tempt me so

day in, day out

dreaming of your lips on mine

such passion.

 

XII. 

Unattainable

is that which I desire. 

I have changed

no longer bold and spirited 

as you once knew

enslaved to serve, bound to silence.

 

Wash away the sorrow, father

I beg of you

cool my pains with your words

let them cascade down 

my hair, spine, feet

I am yours and yours alone.

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This poem is about: 
Me
My family
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 

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