Poetry

God was a Queer Boy by Jessica Helen Lopez

 

I remember God was a queer boy with a cowlick the color of gold.
I saw him being arrested on the corner of Haight-Ashbury.
I remember that the sky boiled with clouds, about to dump a hail
storm of rage and windy rain upon our heads. I waited.

It never did.

No, God was an undocumented woman from Juarez.

It took five ICE agents to hold her down. Her hair was a nest
of writhing snakes shedding skin.

God was hit in the face by at least six billy
clubs & shot twice in the back
for good measure.

He was a black boy from Charlotte
& his crime was breathing.

God was a transwoman
with one shoe.

A small Asian boy with an accent.
No one knew from where.
Not really.

God was an AMBER Alert
but only for little white girls.

God worked at McDonald’s but slept beneath a bridge.

God is in the drunk tank.
God died & was then resurrected
atop the foothills only to be bludgeoned
again & again & again with rubber bullets.

He had a dog named Chuck and his favorite tree was the Aspen.

The policemen exclaimed at God’s resiliency
to take a beating & then bore down
& beat him again.

God lived on in the 5 o’clock news.
Once God was an old piece of Christmas tinsel,
a dilapidated foil pinwheel swimming in a gutter.

A trash man.
A dictator.
A teenager who plays
a distorted guitar in a punk band.

God was a dementia-riddled grandmother
who walked barefoot into the night.
She wore a pale pink cotton house
dress & the moon illuminated her
silhouette.

I sat in God’s lap once & she told me
We forget only the things we must.

God stroked my hair with
paper-thin skinned hands
& I was comforted.

Jessica Helen Lopez
Jessica Helen Lopez

Jessica Helen Lopez is the City of Albuquerque Poet Laureate, Emeritus, and was Poet-in-Residence for the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History from 2014-2016. She is a member of the Macondo Foundation, founded by Sandra Cisneros as an association of socially engaged writers united to advance creativity, foster generosity, and honor community. Her first collection of poetry, Always Messing with Them Boys (West End Press, 2011) made the Southwest Book of the Year reading list and was also awarded the Zia Book Award presented by NM Women Press. Her second collection of radical feminist poetry, Cunt. Bomb. is published by Swimming with Elephants Publication (2014). Her third collection, The Language of Bleeding: Poems for the International Poetry Festival, Nicaragua (SWEP) is a limited release in honor of her ambassadorial visit to Granada, Nicaragua.

A Pushcart Prize nominee, Lopez is the founder of La Palabra – The Word is a Woman collective created for and by women and gender-identified women. Her Ted Talk is titled, Spoken Word Poetry that Tells HERstory. Lopez’s work can be found at PANK Magazine, thebakerypoetry.com, newmexicomercury.com, and asusjournal.org,drunkinamidnightchoir.org., Suspect Press, Somos Enscrito Latino Literary Journal, Casita Grande Press, and many more places.