#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

mormoni

My father’s epitaph had been a lie,
engraved into a stone tablet—
just like the 10 Commandments.
Both had been used to control beliefs.

David’s wealth was prolonging my father’s life,
even as he was enjoying my father’s wife.

Like Mary Magdalene,
I’d been visiting the empty grave of
the man my mother had practically deified—
the man whose blood would redeem me
from psychological incest.

For the sake of her soul,
she would not divorce,
but she would kill.
For the sake of Patrick’s soul.
she had preserved the body by
keeping him hooked to machines—
a mechanical embalming.

Mother Mary had been Mother’s idol,
but now she saw herself as a martyr—
a saint but not of the Catholic kind.

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#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

mormoni

For years,
we had visited an empty grave,
like Mary coming to see
the empty tomb.
The latter had risen,
the former had never died,
but had suffered for the sins
committed in Mother’s world.

My David—
who I’d thought a prince of a man,
an earthly king of kings—
had lain with a married woman,
whose husband he had paid
to keep alive.
Like King David,
he was,
but better.

David had kept the Fosters
a secret from Mother,
even as he had kept my father
a secret from me.
He was a complicated man,
& because of him,
I was a complicated woman.

My mother could’ve chosen to end my life in the womb,
but I could not choose to end her life outside it,
even though she had killed something inside me.

The foundation of our existence shook,
the pillars & posts of transparency tumbled around me,
& I walked through the valley of the shadow of spiritual death
in a temporal world that had become an anathema to me.

#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book

mormoni

The hot chocolate that tasted like dirt wasn’t enough to steam away the winter chill that blew through the holes in our tights & openings in our scarves as we went a-caroling among the leaves so green.

We took the presence of a Nativity scene as an indication of a safe house, a friendly home, and we caroled our way through Christendom.

The glow from the tree gave the illusion of a gloriole, and it was to Mother’s light that the missionary angels were drawn.

Machines had kept my father alive, & I wondered if he was in purgatory, between 2 worlds, knowing if that machine malfunctioned, it would be the end of both his lives.

David’s allegiance to my mother hurt more than her deception; he was a beautiful accessory to her crime.

The Church admonished its members to be honest in all their dealings with their fellow man, & so I wondered about Abraham, lying about Sarah.

I had once believed in total autonomy—until I’d read the story of Pharaoh & how God had hardened His heart to bring about His purpose.

Removing Patrick from life support was in Mother’s best convenience, just as choosing not to abort Caitlin had been against hers.  Perhaps she’d seen forsaking her life in the servitude of motherhood as penance for destroying Patrick’s.

 

#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book

Mormoni

The evangelicals believed Jesus changed hearts even as the Mormons believed the threat of being separated from their families forever changed behavior.

To be drenched in water that would imbue one with fire & the Holy Ghost, seemed the equivalent of firewater, & would produce the same result.

A relationship with Jesus was the foundation of Deep South Protestant Christianity; in Mormonism, it was the relationships with our families.

My gaze fell on a shiny silver ball, & it was as if I were gazing into a crystal ball—a seer stone—except I was seeing into the past.

What he was telling me now only confirmed what Caitlin had always felt & I had never wanted to believe.

My life had been a series of context clues, teeming with subtext, warning me, but I’d wanted to believe it was for love, not blood, that he stayed.

To tamper with the sacred powers of procreation outside of the marriage covenant was considered second only to murder, even if it ended in a birth.

One of the prophets had proclaimed any man could marry any woman & make the marriage work, excluding the passion St. Paul spoke of.

She wanted me to love any one of them as if they were interchangeable, & not fearfully & wonderfully made.

The idea of giving up total autonomy for eternal security seemed a small price to pay, but I could never serve a mission, for I was, unbeknownst to me, fulfilling another’s.

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

mormoni

Mother would not give him marriage,
but she would give him sex & love.
She would not give him children,
but she would give him hers.

His thoughts were my thoughts,
his ways, my ways,
& I believed this was so—
only because he’d come first.

She was wrapped up in the Church—
just like a gift someone did not want
its intended to see.

My father, Patrick, was alive.
With one sentence,
Mother had resurrected the dead.

Mother was his full-length dark mink,
I, his white mink stole;
Caitlin was a leotard with ballerina slippers,
the only innocent one of us all.

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

Mormoni

Mother was a woman with a past,
David, a future,
& all this time,
they had been trying to meet in the middle-
in the here & now.

Biblical history repeated itself in my biological parent,
in my spiritual parent,
for what Leah had done to Jacob in the Old Testament,
David had done to Mother
in this new dispensation.

My minor years were spent being fed lies,
my major years, sifting out the truth,
which was nothing more than fool’s gold.

My father had wanted to die,
even as my mother had wanted him to die.
There had been no one left to fight for him,
only his daughters to love him.

I wanted my mother.
With all her sins,
I wanted her.
Though years would die
before I would learn
that she had not,
wanted me.

#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book

Mormoni

There was Brigham Young University, singles conferences, Institute—so many ways to meet our eternal companion, which was about creating more tithe payers for future generations.

My life had been built in Green Haven; Mother wanted me to rebuild it in the Mormon Mecca. My life would be deconstructed in the Deep South, where it would rise again through Reconstruction.

Donna was a MINO (Mormon-in-name-only) because she was into NCMOs (non-committal making-out) sessions.

For him, I’d been willing to give up my family, but he hadn’t been willing to give up his Church. For him, I’d have given up everything, so he would have had to give up nothing.

A man could have a career & family, but a woman had to put the 2 together, so that they became her one & only purpose, for there was no purpose for a woman outside her family.

Donna had said make-up & pantyhose was like a Mormon burka, for she saw all that separated her from being a man as a form of oppression.

My awareness of men had been awakened in Elder Roberts the boy, but my sexuality would be awakened in David the man.

Mormon wives came in 2 forms: corporate & hausfrau. Though they looked different, in their hearts, they were 2 sides of the same feminine coin.

Life as a Mormon wife would be full of Sunday services, domesticity, & children. It was their ideal, but I wasn’t sure it was mine.

I was a romantic idealist who found the Mormon ideals neither romantic or ideal, except for those who’d been raised to believe them so.