Sunday, June 12, 2011

They Say We'll Burn Forever

They Say We’ll Burn Forever

They say we’ll burn forever.

That our pain will never leave

I’ll burn because I’m lost,

and too stubborn to believe.

Chuck will burn with his soul mate,

who happens to be named Steve.

Katie will burn for her hateful act

of making love to me on the eve

of Christ’s birthday after a dance

and refusing a second chance,

to be gained by confessing,

and asking the lord’s blessing,

over her soul for the scandal that night,

but she’s too proud to bow down to his might.

We’ll all burn forever.

Forever is a long time.

Maroon jumpers, socks pulled knee high

Ironed dress shirts and matching ties

Forced smiles and empty talk

Trapped by judgment as I walk

down the hall naked with no disguise.

Summed up in a second by hateful eyes

For preaching love, there are quite a few

people they seem to despise.

I tell myself they don’t bother me.

I tell a lot of lies.

Sitting in a stuffy church

Being guided on our search

for eternal salvation

and taught to build a nation

of Christ’s followers here on earth.

In this crowded pew

Friends are few

My own view,

Bill’s huge body in front of me.

Shamed, sad shoulders are all I see.

As we kneel,

I stick my head in the aisle

in an attempt to steal

a quick glance of Katie’s smile.

Her lip’s fight back a laugh.

She finds it all funny.

The priest’s stoic voice, this made up path,

how people donate money

to keep it all going.

All their time they give,

as they go on never knowing

What it feels like to live.

I lose my balance and fall on the ground.

Body crashing down in thunderous sound

Catching the eyes of all around

Caught in the spotlight alone

Wondering what next to do

Exploding laughter I should have known

This reaction from her isn’t new.

Her expression one of shock, as if she had thought no one would notice

A thousand turned people now stare

Suddenly she undergoes some sort of transcendental Meiosis

Identical body but now without a care

Contortioned to the calm wisdom of a modern day Moses

with smooth legs, and soft flowing hair.

A deeper truth in her eyes, she gazes at me

People part like the sea,

as she bounds over seat after seat.

A sight to stunned students and teachers

At the back of the hall we meet,

like two heavenly creatures,

come to capture the attention of all.

We’re broken but we don’t fear the fall.

Skipping and whistling to my car.

Transfixed they stare on from afar.

Stopping at the river’s side,

laughing and hugging,

talking and loving,

no longer needing to hide.

Holding hands in the afternoon light

Watching the water flow

softly as we kiss.

Wherever love takes us we’ll go.


  1. I really enjoyed the classes reaction to this poem. I never knew a little post- catholic school venting could be powerful to so many people. My goal was to pretty much just write a "slap in the face" poem to all judgmental people out there. I wanted it to be humorous, but at the same time have strong emotional undertones. Some of the rhymes turned out pretty funny. It's weird what attempting to follow a sort of rhyme scheme can do for a writer's creativity when it comes to word selections. I never in my life thought I would use the term "Transcendental Meiosis" in a poem, but hey i mean it got the job done I guess lol. It was very rewarding to get feedback from everyone in class this quarter. I appreciate all of the help others have given to me, and I feel like I grew a lot as a writer in those 10 weeks.

  2. the last three lines of this poem are killer. the last line really stays with me; it suggests more about what you're trying to get at than all the conventional wisdom before. nice work joey.