a poem for the church

our bodies are not a battleground
on which to fight
for the dominance
of your theology

it is our bodies that are broken,
our blood that is shed
it is our tears that fall to the ground,
our deep cries of abandonment unheard
it is our bodies that bear the scars,
the bruising black and blue

it’s as if the Christ did not die
to set us all free
it’s as if we are the continual sacrifice
on the table of your religious ideologies

you come together and you devour
our flesh and our blood
as a communion meal,
and then you tell us
forgive and forget

the same anger and hatred
that killed pure love,
destroys us minute by minute
peace on earth is joyfully declared
while we sit in the shackles
you made with your own hands

i can’t demand you care for us
i can’t demand you advocate
for our pain to stop
i can’t demand you see
what your eyes refuse to
because demands
never lead to love
and only love can heal
what is broken

if the only worth of our abuse
is more fodder
for your theological sentiments,
i’d rather you just stay silent

if you will only acknowledge
the misdeeds of those
outside of your camp
and not those within your own,
i’d rather you just stay silent.

if the only thing that will change
as the days go by
is the ways that
you cover up, gaslight, and lie,
i’d rather you just stay silent

but no, you won’t

you will continue to take
our ravaged bodies
and again
use and break them
to your own advantage

you will use us
as examples in your pulpits
you will discuss us
as talking points on social media
you will rape us over and over,
forcing more and more
of our stories
out into the public eye,
so that they can be
derided, dismissed, denied

every time you scapegoat the other
in your discussion of abuse,
every time you refuse to see the ways
that you contribute,
every time you make the problem someone else’s
responsibility,
you make me realize only deeper
that what you care about
is your religious rightness,
not our bodies
and the ultimate price
we have paid

and so with your actions
you deny the words that
come out of your mouth
of love, of peace, of hope,
of good news for all

for us, there is none

and there will be none
while we continue to be
oppressed and shunned
in your midst

so we leave
we speak out
we advocate

and while you all discuss
how to deal with this reckoning,
we are steering a new course.

because we discovered that

our bodies are precious
our bodies are loved
our bodies are no longer
yours for the taking

one day maybe you too will realize,
our bodies are not
the battleground for

your power    

your pride

your possession

and they never were



sincerely,

a survivor


4 Comments

Susanna · February 28, 2020 at 1:12 pm

This is so well articulated. I found your site through TLHV and will be sharing this post. Thank you.

    Katie · February 28, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    Welcome! I’m so glad it resonated with you!

Augustin · February 29, 2020 at 12:53 am

Excellent thoughts and you have articulated a peaceful resistance against patriarchy and scapegoating… Keep writing

    Katie · February 29, 2020 at 2:10 am

    Thank you Augustin!

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