Ingi House: Three Poems
If I believed in prophets
then my pilgrimage would have started
when I was eight years old.
Into the heathen barbaric land of children
spat upon and castigated
as a heretic who prophesied
the love of Allah instead of Christ.
Round and quiet instead of sharp and loud.
In the unkind lands of
the middle years
struck by chains of Biblical verse
only to be the one
who freed them in the end.
But I don’t believe in
allah, or god, or christ
so I cannot go into that holy land.
Instead I sit on the outside
waiting for reason to take over
preaching like all the gospels that have gone before me
only this time I call for an end to all prophets
and to senseless torture inflicted on the innocent
by those who know little more
than what their fathers taught them.
Like those before me
I am ignored
and thought to be what I am not.
She asks me:
"what do others say
when you ask them
why they are your friends?"
I sit there,
stirring a chocolate milk shake
with two straws,
my red dress crinkling beneath my fingertips.
traces up the side of my face
onto my ear
to brush a strand of hair aside.
Eyelashes flutter down
then up again
for eyes to peek coyly at her
then shrug my shoulders
and ask her to tell me more about her degrees.
Don’t stand on your pedestal
and speak to me of “should”.
I know nothing of forgiveness
but meaningless words
used to deflect blame
and make the speaker feel better.
Why should I forgive atrocities
when you don’t try to make amends?
Words spill from you
Take your sorries and didn’t-mean-tos
and lock them away in the pretty boxes
filled with YOUR forgiveness.
Save the ink.
Save the talk.
I would rather you stand up
come to me
and offer your apologies
in documents of shame
in acts of retribution
in full knowledge
that I might not accept.
I owe you nothing.
I owe myself understanding
and if living on revenge
and the fuel you dumped into my fire
creates beauty where you only left chaos
then I say damn you, Forgiveness.
I forgive myself
for ever believing you were enough.
Ingi House is an archivist and has written on several archival topics. She has published in, or is up-coming in: Gods and Radicals, Subprimal Poetry, The Literary Hatchet, NOUS, and others. Originally from the Midwest, she is trying out both coasts to see which one is best. She loves words, and hopes they love her back. Contact her on Twitter.