Ever since I was young, I was told to behave.
Day after day I was told to sit up straight, and for goodness sake
keep my elbows off the table.
Ever since I was young, I was told to listen,
to save my questions for the end, to use a stamp before I send, to be myself to make new friends, and save the cable for the weekend (except for holiday vacation when recreation via television was allowed by mom’s permission).
Ever since I was young, I was told red meant stop and green meant go
and if I was caught running during “red light” I couldn’t play anymore.
I didn’t mean to cheat–
it’s just that the kid playing traffic light kept turning around before my legs could stop.
And so I sat down and watched to see who would win.
Ever since I was young, I’ve been sitting on the sidelines with my hand raised,
too shy to say “pick me”, so every day, I stop watching a little sooner.
Ever since I was young, I was told to use my brain. You know,
the itchy purple stuff between your eyes?
Now I couldn’t figure out why–
but cleaning my ears never cured my headache,
and brushing my teeth only made it worse.
In sixth grade I had a dream about a girl.
I already knew about Santa Claus and that made the Tooth-Stealing Bitch my mother.
I never understood how my mom could lie to me
year after year, tooth after tooth, and I bet she threw every hand-grown canine away–
I was stupid for believing in the first place.
The pope once said that science can’t contradict religion
and if I’d known that then, it wouldn’t be a problem.
I told my friend about the dream and he told her sacred majesty that she was the one and only star of a cinematic triumph.
It was then,
then that I began to wonder.
I mean, it was obvious that he was going to tell; that’s what kids do,
and I was stupid for believing in the first place.
Ever since seventh grade, I was told that humanity came from microorganisms:
the story of evolution.
But the priest said that men don’t come from monkeys and if so then prove it.
I claimed my first ‘F’ in freshman biology falsifying the existence of bewombed fish-babies with over fifty pages of cited research.
It was too late when I realized it was all a theory,
and I was stupid for believing in the first place:
science can’t contradict religion.
The problem was Sunday school said that God made Adam and God made Eve.
And on the seventh day he looked out and smiled.
Now how am I supposed to believe that there’s a god out there for me when hate and greed consume the world– don’t look at me;
you see it too.
Ever since this morning I believe in evolution–
I’m all for the gay revolution.
Why blind faith when logic will do?
Science can’t contradict religion, ever since this afternoon,
when I looked into my soul and was surprised not to find it.
Science can’t contradict religion, ever since Isaiah 42,
where to the Gentiles and the Jews it says to close your eyes and hold out your hand,
because He will lead you to the Light.
Science can’t contradict religion, ever since sitting sideways in the back pew and admiring the view of a hundred updated primates,
I refused to close my eyes.
Ever since that night on my knees, feeling stupid to believe,
I asked a perilous question:
Are You real?