God has a girlfriend (and it isn’t me)

God has a girlfriend (and it isn’t me) – April Michelle Bratten


God told me that jealousy plods the breasts;
        that envy, sex, fire, that late night phone call,
were his. That this scar that stretches, rosy,
        across my chest, was his. I held my tongue,
assured my own secret temple of snow
        was protected. He was rough more than once.
Never asked, Do you still want me?
       The sunlight would slowly climb our curtains,
and I knew I only wanted to want.
       He never asked, Does this hurt? He knew
the answer. If I could have peered over
       his rhythmic shoulder, I would have seen the first
morning rising.


Tonight my bra is a white flag. I brandish
       it in front of me. Its salted cups scent the barren
field, and I know he will come. He loves the smell
       of a stain. He will bring his new girlfriend, smaller
than me, who shapes her mouth to his neck
       and dreams of possessing him. Does she suck
his blood and spit gardens? Does she tie
       her sorrow to his river and watch as he devours it?


I cross the flatland to stand, an anchor
       in front of God. The stars above us are dead
and will not be saved. Rivalry chips
       my front tooth in its hurried flight from my body.
I shake my breasts right under his nose—
       reach for his girlfriend’s hand. I can smell her soft
moss, her complexion flattened
       by a rosy scar sliced across her chest. She looks
like me. God penetrates my scar’s length,
       remembers he siphoned permission from the wound.
I can smell the stain in him. I press
       the woman’s sucking mouth to my mark.
She knows the flavor well. It tastes like me.
       Her tongue flicks then freezes on my skin.
We rise above the field.


Oh, God, says God.