My Testimony (A Narrative Poem) By: Noelle Beck

It is like this,
How it was and how it is.

I have known
Since then.
Since the moment
Perception awakens
To the grasp of awareness.

And intellect is that
Bud opening.
I had opened my memory to it,
Entwine and embrace,
The soil
Absorbs to regurgitate
To inquiring Baptist faces.
The youthful eye knows memory
As the power of conviction,
As the determinant of truth.

I had known it:
As a sweet taste.
The bud in bitter bloom
Knew no ability beyond imagination’s grasp.

It was like this:
I would wake
And grasp at sensation,
Then create.
The world was clay
And stories birthed
At every mold.

Each particle of earth
Was a land all my own.
My familiar warmth
And daddy’s love
Was a distant thought
I only grasped when fancy demanded.

It is like that,
You grow
And reality heaves in a new dimension.
The truth of familiarity becomes
A cloak to be torn.
The world whispers songs
In virgin ears
My brothel is sweet.”

I rub the world’s neck
And paint God’s name in the corner
Of my imagination.
The name is an empty shell.
I hold the carcass
To stave hell’s fire
From nipping my soiled feet.

My face is always clean.
I am the little whore,
Clothed in white silk.
The world calls me blessed.
I drink their praises in
And feed them to my altars of self.
I am good
I am good,
I do not drink
I do not steal.
I know the five points of Calvinism.
I kiss my mother’s cheek each night.
I make my bed,
I read my books.
I am good
I am good,
“But the righteous shall live
By faith
By faith ,
They will love the Lord above all else.”
My heart was a bed
Made for Satan and myself.

It is like that,
You are a woman.
They tell you
They tell you.
Your lips are untouched.
Blue eyes and purity,
A bible on my bed stand
With God as my burden,
My fear.
I do not love him
And obligation
Chastises my emotions.

On my birthday
I washed my mirror
To look at my face as it really was.
I wanted to see the person underneath my skin.
It was like that
When avoidance is removed from your stomach,
And sin squeezes
Your eyeballs out.

I could not see
When I saw,
The body of a virgin
Pure and white,
The heart of a whore,
Black and cold,
Kissing the world all night.

The squeezing is a
Pain that burns the senses
And empties the altars.
Words, empty words,
Hollow melodies and poems,
Pour out of the mind as jelly,
The mouth said this,
“God, God, God,
The sounds are heavy
With the tones of sincerity.

No longer the carcass of obligation
No longer the warm blanket of security
No longer the refuge of my father’s words.
No longer the comfort of my mother’s teaching.
I took my old jacket off and found the first step
Between my head and heart.
He held me up and carried me to that place.
It was like that.
Truth was released from subjective perception.
Truth became the string that stitched my heart together
And held my eyes in place.
He came into me
And cast light into the dark brothel.
I knew him.
It was like that,
As it was,
As it is.

He said my name,
I heard,
He said, “Come.”
I went.

It was like that,
And the brothel is a bird that hovers
Over the hidden corners
And in the pages of books.
It lays a nest in the mind
Waiting for the moment to hatch her eggs
And birth her chicklets,
Her whoring garb
Is over a boy’s face
Woven with the invisible webs
Of philosophy.
The atheist seductress
Objectivism. Existentialism. Passion no purity.
It is like that at seventeen.

Nighttime is a long period,
It hides the son.
Sin is smog,
It tells you that he is a God
Not there, not there.

Dawn comes after,
The son is triumphant over night.
It is like that at eighteen.
I open my eyes
And find morning
In the God who is
Always there
Though I occasionally turn the lights off.

It is like that
And he holds me.
He puts the clubs in my hand
Then lifts my arms
To smash my altars
Once more
Once more.

I fall in empty pits,
But he is like that
And leads me out.

He has dropped a word in my heart.
It is
He has asked me to
Know him
To search him.
It is like that
And joy is mine
Deep and deep,
Deeper still.

It is like this,
The brothel is a smelly whisper.
Jesus is my fragrant roar.


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