Read me

I know you have this Plan:
this crystalline vision
of me
at twenty, or maybe twenty-five
dressed in an intricately beaded white gown
inside a temple so flawless, cold, and pure
that I am constantly afraid I might leave behind
a fingerprint, a smudge, a speck of dust,
kneeling at that sacred altar across from a man
making eternal vows of both love and submission,
while you watch from the front row in a straight-backed chair,
your legs crossed at the ankles.
And there are tears in your eyes
because there I am, following the Plan—
and it’s not your Plan, but God’s,
the one set in heavenly stone since I came into existence.

I know none of this was in the Plan:
I was never meant to fall for a woman
or hate myself
or watch my faith evaporate like scalding steam—
still there, somewhere in the atmosphere,
just scattered and intangible.
That faith has followed me from my birth,
from my christening,
from my middle name—
a woman in the Bible whose story I don’t think I could recall at gunpoint.
My own story is one I don’t think I could recall at gunpoint
when so much of who and what I am is buried
under impenetrable miles of shame and confusion
and blindness I would need far more
than a seer stone in a hat to reverse.

—  i cannot follow your plan