November 29, 2012 / Creative Writing
Rebecca Lynne Fullan, in “Telling My Beads,” weighs her reasons for wearing a rosary for inspiration, Christ’s “tiny twist . . . of body in metal” a strange weight on both body and soul.
October 15, 2018
I’ve stood by while god pulled people down,
held them flailing on the ground, felled
by his spirit, rolling them holy and unafraid.
A person who falls this way must be willing
to give up the dignity of holding on
to so much less than what is necessary
to get by. Mostly god takes women this way—
slain in the spirit evangelicals say. In the room
I felt a thing forming, pulsing and blind. I pictured Zeus,
bearded and bearing down, lifting women
out of their bodies as they left
trembling behind. I was thirteen, standing among
the children of god, watching the frenzied
cry before collapse. It was palpable, how the body
of Christ ministered to them, lying like dolls, limbs
limp and willing to be arranged, church fathers
circled round and praying for release. I was afraid
to long for the lightning rod of god
incarnate, burning through what I knew
I could do to the son of man. It was sex,
of course, bottled up and breaking
free. Not much else makes sense to me.
After the service, we went down
to the church’s basement kitchen,
sat at long tables on folding chairs, waited
to be fed by the fallen women now found
on their feet, flushed in the heat above
such heavy pots and pans, stirring
the bounty of their lord into a Sunday
supper for his flock, those lambs of god,
the sheep, his rams.
Susan Carlson lives, works, and writes in southeastern Michigan. She’s had the opportunity to develop her poetry in workshops at Tin House, the Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference, and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. Her poems have appeared in Your Impossible Voice, Blue Bear Review, Switchgrass Review, and Literary Nest and are forthcoming in Pretty Owl Poetry and from Madness Muse Press.