To Believe

Written by Faith Allen

Tell me this and tell me I’m not wrong when I say it

That to believe is to be honest and sorrowful all at once

to believe is to ask for a hand to guide you

to say forgive me and I’m sorry to the whole world

for your childish innocence

that you were too young to renounce

belief is crawling on your knees

screaming to a god you hoped would hear you

thinking maybe if you screamed loud enough

you’d break the cathedral glass of that God who fell silent so long ago

sobbing out the stones in your stomach

leaking loneliness that never left you

belief is growing up

saying that the wind & the snow shattering across your backbone

at 5am when you stagger to your work

is better than the bond of religion

that makes a mother an island, a series of door slams and screaming

& a corpse father so hell bent on sacrifice, he surrenders you

-his child never to be seen

never to bury your face in his tweed coat

and breathe in the hymnal notes of his scent,

the bulletin crinkles at the corner of his eyes

to believe is to realize that reincarnation

is but the death and birth waking rhythm of our days

A resurgent resurgam

“I shall rise again”

a pushing the dirt off

kicking back covers

waking up alone

Belief is my mother’s hands

pointing out marks on a page

that grew and bloomed to form letters &

letters into words until sentences came

and I realized the whole world was full of people who had something to say

and a past they were learning to leave behind

Belief was the genesis

the first love breaking in

the quietness of rising

to kiss the face of someone you love

Belief is saying

the sky brings rain to the earth

and waters the earth

the earth absorbs it and sends it to the sea

In warm coils and spirals under the earth

Ground water

water of the ground

While on the mountains, the rocks spit out streams

and it flows through rivers

charges off the heights of endless cliffs

explodes like silver shrapnel

and beats into a pool below

to be gathered

to channel and twirl and twist

until it is sent to the sea

did not all the water take the same journey?

to return from where it came?

how different is the life of the groundwater which is

held deep in the earth’s belly

knows the dark walls of soil

and that of the mountain springs

which has leaped high and silver,

kissing the air, plummeting in screams

and sharp punctuations

yet it traverses the same miles,

to end in the same place

To be taken up again

To be released

To be sent home.

To believe

Is to see

These cycles of life

Are just a homeward journey

Of which belief

Lies in the ground

Lies in the mountain

Lies in the sea

Lies in the end

of a sentence we barely remember beginning. |