The God of my father wore me out with wrath and beatings, kisses from a weathered mouth, mixed signals from a mountainous head. It got to where it was him or me; so I found where he hide his gun and plotted against this Pantokrătōr. I told myself it would be good if I killed him. He wouldn’t have to have to watch me, see me raped by a brother who was drunk all the time, like Bacchus, lecherous; or Cain, leaving me for dead, but never completing the murder. The tribe, ripping hyenas, lions defending, tore into me. But for my lioness mother, I’d not be here. Her gods were an odd clan of miraculous love and sunlight: Frank of the Stigmata, Mary and her Weird Pregnancy, Mojave John and Handyman Jesus. Even the crimes of her priests never made her hate. That’s a tale we all know now. Sweet as cough syrup, she made friends of natives at hunting feasts where the elders picked at deer-head meat– Six hearts and a soul I lost along the way. I don’t mind that it hurt like hell. Life is not a walk to regret; heaven must be where we forget.
Rayn Roberts 2017