#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

Mormoni

I asked my dead father,
who lived I knew not where,
to forgive me,
even as I’d never asked for David’s,
for not once had I ever sinned against him.

My pain was swallowed up in the light of his presence,
the sting of the death of Mother’s memory, gone—
all because of the light of his love.

I’d seen what I’d been allowed to see,
heard what I’d been allowed to hear.
The artist in David had painted a pretty picture,
the pianist, in Mother,
this score that had underscored the strange play
that was my life—
a life that had been a Hallmark greeting card,
personalized in cursive,
tea-stained at the edges,
protected in a pretty envelope.

The Protestants had “True Love Waits” rings,
the Mormons, CTR, for “Choose the Right.”
They were purity rings, & nothing more.

Purity rings & purity balls,
with chastity placed on a girl’s
uncovered shoulders.
Orgasms were something mysterious—
something experienced,
often by the inexperienced.

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#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book

Mormoni

I became somewhat of a Pollyanna during the heyday of my Mormon experience. I didn’t look around, but straight ahead—to the end I had to endure to.

The notion of a Church family was like a second cousin, thrice removed. It was unfamiliar & wonderful. It wasn’t obtained through blood or marriage, but through adoption.

Their highest level of heaven was about being reunited with their families, & I thought how many holes there would be in that happy place.

Here I was, not ready to grow up all the way quite yet, & Caitlin, in her own way, was growing up too fast.

Tony may have been a sex maniac, marrying Kath to relieve his urge to have sinless sex, but he was a better man than Elder Roberts, for he was marrying the one he loved.

The Coveys had more kids than the Von Trapps, & I thought how larger numbers seemed to breed informality.

My friend Brad saw in me then, what I did not see in myself—the love I had for my stepfather that went beyond fatherly.

The Fosters—the owners of the diner David & I had secretly dined in—had been the aunt & uncle who’d raised him, the foster parents who’d never approved of Mother.

Beth & Gerald had loved me as if I were David’s very own. If only I’d known, I would’ve loved them more while they were alive than after they died.

It was incongruous that David grew up on a farm in rural Pennsylvania, only to become the epitome of urbanity in a township in Green Haven, Florida.

#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book

Mormoni

They said that the devil was the author of confusion. That made Mother his scribe, David, her copy editor, for he knew not from whence that confusion came.

Mother’s hatred for my father was greater than her love for David, but was it not her love for David that had made her hate my father so?

Her body went rigid, & her voice became brittle to the point of breaking. She was like a piece of merchandise that had been on the shelf for too long.

The sharpness of Mother’s words cut me, lacerating the beautiful picture of her I carried in the pocket of my heart—a picture that had seen me through many unfought wars.

Because my mother had made her decision to leave my father too late, my baby sister had been spared, being too far developed to snuff out.

That night, I found out the reason why my father couldn’t be buried in hallowed ground. That night, I knew why Mother clung to his spirit, as she never had his flesh.

It seemed contradictory to say that Mother & David had carnal knowledge of one another, which meant they had known one another in the Biblical sense.

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

Mormoni

Mother wanted her stripling warriors,
like in the Book of Mormon—
sons, I feared, who would be David’s Only Begotten,
&, therefore, favored above me.

Catholicism & Mormonism were 2
of a Christian kind.
The first had their cathedrals,
the latter, their temples;
both had their godly quiverfuls.

The Church was constructed on feelings of faith,
that those good feelings were the Spirit,
testifying—to the deceitful heart—the truthfulness of all things.

Mine eyes saw the glory of the Mormon Lord,
manifested in their wonderful works.
Mine ears heard their heavenly hymns,
glorifying Joseph Smith—
their personal Prophet.

They spoke of Jesus marrying & having children,
& I thought how ungodly this seemed,
even as The Man had died without dignity.

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

Mormoni

One could have worth
without being worthy,
for worthiness was measured
in deeds—
done & undone—
& how many days till one’s
last repentance.

Mother had spent her life atoning for her adulterous sin,
but it was David who ultimately paid for it—
a sort of accidental Christ.

Caitlin was a candy-colored musical,
Mother, a film noir,
but I, I would become the Greek drama
that would unfold with each retelling.

According to Mormon doctrine,
King David had been barred from the celestial kingdom forever,
but my David had sent no man to his death
for coveting another man’s wife.

Mother spoke of the beach—
that place we seldom went to.
She spoke of a memory there,
of her wishing not to die,
but for another man to die,
so that she could live with another.

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

Mormoni

The candles in the chapel had burned out,
the smell of sulfur was strong.
I called out to God in the dark,
& He answered in David’s voice.

The Church was the lie that led me to the truth.
Had the Church never happened,
my parents would still be alive—
one living a lie,
the other, just lying.

I had experienced salvation at St. Mary’s—
not through my works,
but through an act of faith
in which a wondrous work
had been wrought in me.

The Church had touched that part of me that was spiritual,
David,
the part that was sensual,
& Mother,
the part that was psychologically fragile,
for I was a doll that had been broken
in many places,
without realizing I had been broken at all.

I did not want to short the Lord,
because for giving His all,
He asked for 10 percent of my income,
a seventh of my time,
& my whole heart.

 

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

Mormoni

David was divine—
a father, like God,
a brother, like Jesus,
& a feeling, like the spirit
the missionaries spoke of—
the feeling that converted.

The crucifix served as a focus
for my self-induced hypnosis
as I convinced myself that
this 3-headed entity
called “The Godhead” existed.

I saw in God the Father,
a father;
in Heavenly Mother,
a woman of awe & mystery,
& the mother of the One who saw me as His.

I had just now given myself permission
to believe in something I could not see,
simply because I wanted to.
I was free—free to believe in Him.

I was ready to accept Jesus into my heart,
whether He existed or not;
I accepted the idea of Him,
& when I did,
He came,
& stayed.