She says she’s not a musician,
But if she drew her bow across my heartstrings,
I know I’d sing a sad kind of love song
And it would be stuck in my head til it filled me up and overflowed my mind and dripped off my eyelashes
And slid down my face to the fake it til you make it smile
That I perfected for Sunday mornings.
At seven years old, I bought my first insurance policy
To keep me safe from hellfire and guarantee that I’d see my dead grandparents again.
I was trained up in the way I should go,
But I’ve always been unsteady on my feet
And church shoes have always hurt.
I rolled my ankle and quieted my joy on that straight and narrow path
And when my eyes fell upon a girl with doe eyes and Geena Davis lips
My heart damn near broke my ribs trying to burst out of my chest.
I dreamed of the depths of her ocean, the altitude of her clouds.
The bends in my knees were a nightmare that nearly broke me.
In fractured thirds, I wanted to know
The Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost,
Whatever made her smile stretch across her face
Or what she’d say when she was full
Of anger like Jesus Christ
Turning over tables in the temple
And decrying desecration.
I may have always feared damnation
But if this happy heat I feel near her
Is anything like hellfire
God damn, do I really have to choose?
The music in her hands
And her heart
The way her words sing
To a wretch like me,
My heartstrings hum with the vibration
Now I’m found
Now I’m found
And I’m afraid of what I see.
My eleven year old heart
Wrapped up in rules and what my mother says,
My heartstrings were knotted
In the nicest ribbon,
My one and only heart
A broken gift
I never told her.
I was sure
That she would never
Sit next to me at church again.