#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

mormoni

The Angel of Death had paid his visit,
& now my Angel of Life,
my guardian angel,
my David,
remained.
The words of “I Know that My Redeemer Lives”
played in my mind,
& it was David’s face I saw,
brighter than the sun.
I had prayed for him to come.
Either he or God Himself
had heard my prayer
& heeded it.

Upon my father’s brow,
my mother planted a holy kiss,
bestowing upon him her blessing
to proceed into the next life—
a procession he had not consented to.

David had kept Patrick from me—
had spared me from a life of resenting my father,
of visiting him in the hospital for hours
rather than his grave for minutes,
& yet,
Mother had predetermined that no matter what,
I would resent this man
even as I would love David without condition,
for such fulfilled her purposes.

Mother would’ve never divorced Patrick
or had the marriage annulled,
for she could not be forgiven for an ongoing sin,
but she could be forgiven for that single sin of flipping a switch,
so that she no longer had to live in sin.

I trusted David with my heart & life & body
as surely as I trusted God,
whoever he was,
with my soul.

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

mormoni

Mother & David had once been young lovers.
They had walked at twilight on the beach,
went to plays & the symphony,
& then it became a convenience,
but that must have been when they didn’t know
if Patrick would live or die.
They had floated in a Purgatory of sorts—
his life, her life, their lives,
incongruously equal.

The glory of God was intelligence,
& such shone in David,
I’d thought him my own personal god—
a father without a daughter,
a son, raised by humble ones,
& a heavenly spirit who edified all
he came in contact with.

Mother would surely go to the celestial kingdom,
where she would be exalted & placed
on the path to eternal progression.
David would remain in the terrestrial kingdom—
in the presence of the Man
whose torn flesh & spilt blood
had saved us.
God had been the fundraiser,
but Jesus had ponied up the ransom.

Caitlin wept,
yet she had never known him.
Mother, who had known him intimately,
was stoic & had,
in her own way,
given birth to his grief.

I was like a ghost whisperer,
asking my father to accept the gospel in the next life
so that Mother would have to be sealed to him,
thus unsealing her from David.

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

mormoni

I grieved for all those years
of going to his grave–
when all along Mother had known
of the machines keeping his body alive–
machines that had more life in their batteries
than he had left in his years.

David was my idol,
Mother believed,
in the way Tab Hunter & Troy Donahue
had been for teen girls in the sixties,
but he was more my Mary,
my sacred masculine,
my intercessor to the better life.

Mother was like a blanched almond,
the Catholic holy water & Mormon fairy dust
boiling away, rubbing away the hull,
exposing & releasing something akin to cyanide.

David would do Patrick’s temple work.
It was atonement–
not through his blood
but through the water & the spirit.

With one article from The Ensign,
my mother was able to set her body free
by setting my father’s spirit free.

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

mormoni

Mother spoke differently, saying things like “Bless you,” rather than “Thank you,” but Mormons never went around saying, “Jesus loves you.”

Out of love for me, my family had been brought together, & out of love for my mother, the Church had come for me.

When I heard David thank God, I saw it not only as an act of gratitude, but an act of humility. My mother had brought God into the house, made Him comfortable there.

David brought his spirit with him, & I luxuriated in the essence that was his. He was like a wise man, bearing gifts of comfort & joy, but those were the mere gifts—the true gift was the man himself.

Though I’d always been awed at the beauty of the ceremony & tradition, I was looking forward to the sweet simplicity of a LDS Christmas program that I was to be a part of.

I’d never had an extended family, but in its place, I’d been given a Church family. My mother had chosen them, & by default, they had chosen me.

I accepted that Elder Roberts & I weren’t meant to be, simply because the Church said so. I found it was easier to live without questioning everything, even though I felt a little part of me die each time I did not.

I wanted to believe so much that in a way I almost did, yet at the time, I had thought that good feeling was the Spirit telling me that what I was seeing, hearing & feeling was true.

For one night, my mother & I were more alike than me & David. We wanted to be a forever family, not because we loved one another but because we both loved David.

Those days leading up to Christmas in the year of 1999 were the happiest of my life. Though I hadn’t been “born in the covenant,” I felt I had found the Church that I had been made for.

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

mormoni

With her Snow-White features,
every man wanted Leann,
& there was a part of me who wished that I could be
a Rapunzel with Samson-powered hair,
the one who would usurp her power
by being the fairest of them all,
for I had been served a poisoned apple–
the apple of false prophecy.
I had not consumed it,
but my mother had,
& it was as if I had been in her womb
when it had broken through the placental barrier.
The poison from the pome
had been good for Mother
but not for me.

At St. Mary’s,
a sculpture depicting a broken, bloodied Christ
was suspended at the front of the abbey,
while at Green Haven Ward,
a painting of a perfected Christ
hung in the foyer off to the side.
Both religions,
too dogmatic to be mere denominations,
had their men in charge:
the Pope & the Prophet—
old, white men—
who could speak in His Name.

Though we were surrounded by people,
we were the only 2 people in our world.
I sensed a change in my & David’s relationship,
but I could not define it.
It had matured somehow.
I was no longer his stepdaughter—
I was his equal.

Diamonds paired with white,
pearls, with black,
but David looked equally good,
whether he was with Mother
or with me.
I didn’t wear jeans & tennis shoes
but dressed as Princess Kate,
the Duchess of Cambridge would,
many years hence.
I had seen myself as royalty then,
or maybe it was because David
had always treated me as such.

David’s scent was incense to my soul,
his food,
like manna,
his image,
an icon of hope
that there was still good in this world
that the Mormons saw as merely a blip in time–
not to enjoyed for its own sake
but to be preparing for the next life,
for their motto was not “enjoying till the end”
but “enduring to the end.”

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

mormoni

Because of Patrick’s absence,
David had been able to grace us
with his presence—
with the grace that was David
personified.

She hadn’t wanted Caitlin before she was born,
but because she’d been a Catholic,
she’d been spared.
Before my mother had met my sister,
she had had considered wiping her not off the face of the earth
but out of existence in the minds of every being on the earth.
Catholicism had saved my baby sister.
After she was born,
it wasn’t Catholicism that saved her,
but Caitlin being Caitlin.
She loved Caitlin in a way she would never love me.

David loved my mother without condition,
in every condition.
Even the favor of God wavered.

How many lives had Christianity saved?
How many lives had been destroyed
in Christianity’s name?
Even I,
a questioning Christian,
could see that even non-Christians
had benefited from Christianity’s
existence.

For Mother had sought
atonement
in emotional self-flagellation,
even as Protestants
sought verification of theirs
in good works.

#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book

mormoni

I did not want my mother to die, but I wanted David’s love for her to die, for that would be much preferable to hers for him dying first.

Though he had allowed himself to walk into the waters of baptism, he would never walk through the doors of the temple. 

Under the banner of heaven, I pledged my allegiance to David Dalton, but would never recognize his allegiance to my mother.

It was a jubilee of sorts—the tinkling of our fluted stems signaling the beginning of the New Year & of the best years of our lives to come.

It wasn’t the vow David made to my mother, that he would love her, but rather, the vow he made to God to never leave me, that showed me his heart.

Mother’s redecoration of Maxwell Manor resembled the Mormon temples that were open to the moral elite, rather than the Catholic cathedrals that were open to the unwashed masses.

Mother had put off the natural woman to put on the spiritual, for in her eyes, the 2 entities could not co-exist, for 1 would always rule over the other. 

As she drew closer to God, she withdrew from us, even as David & I grew closer than ever.  A part of me still feared losing him if he completely lost Mother.

I had never heard David thank God for anything before, save that night in the hospital, & I wondered, if, in his own way, he was changing, too.