This Is My Body (A Poem About Having A Queer Christian Body)

This Is My Body (A Poem About Having A Queer Christian Body) April 29, 2020

Jesus is teaching me how to live
In a body that is always dying
And yet also a temple that
Grows more holy the more

I learn to breathe and not
See bodies as meat, the more
I am a trumpet played by the
Wind, not a sarcophagus of

Regrets and fears and rage,

Because the body keeps score,
And everything we do either serves
The meat or the breath, even though

Almost every Platonist who read Paul
Didn’t understand he wasn’t telling
Us that boners are God’s punishment
For Adam’s sin but simply that we

Should not let any idol master us,
Including the ideology which says
That minds are purer than bodies
And thus we should pretend that

Reason can hold the reins of feelings
And appetites like a Roman charioteer,
A naivete that resulted in so much
Rape and genocide of cultures whose

Nakedness was proof they were not
Actually human; if white Christians had the
Humility of people whose hearts have been
Cut by the cross, then we would declare

A moratorium on claiming any authority
To speak of the proper use of bodies
For at least as many generations as we
Spent whipping black and brown bodies

And using them as receptacles for our
Sinful urges that no amount of Jonathan
Edwards preaching could straightjacket
Us into keeping inside our knickerbockers.

And if this feels like a whip, that’s good,
Because my savior is flipping all your
Tables now, church; you have lost
The authority to speak of bodies; you

Lost the authority to speak of mine
When my fundamentalist Sunday school
Teacher made me into his personal child
Pornography; the only reason I know Jesus

At all today is because of the ladies with
Mullets at Central Avenue Methodist Church
Who held their wives’ hands while we learned
Together that Jesus loves how we love

Regardless of whom we love; if there were
No queer church, there would be no
Church unruined by empire; if there were
No daughters of slaves moving their hips in

Church, there would be no Christian
Worship on this continent, because the
Elvis hips of the soul-patch wearing guitar
Heroes are not actually all about Jesus.

And yet why not admit that praise leaders are
Just hot and that’s why megachurches are
Thriving instead of trying to pretend that they
Have the only pure gospel which causes

The anxiety that creates mainline decline way
More than whether Marcus Borg videos get
Shown in Sunday school? Whatever we do
To get our mojo back, it needs to involve bodies;

Otherwise we are eating and drinking to our
Damnation when we engage in the farce of
Claiming we have become one body through
A sentimental ritual that we manage to perform

Utterly without mysticism; if it is really Jesus,
Then every time that wafer dissolves on my
Tongue, I should start trembling uncontrollably
And speaking nonsensical syllables that prove

Nothing except the fact that my body can no
Longer form words to express the ecstasy of
Having Jesus penetrate the fortress of isolation
I would otherwise be without the spirit whom

He promised. I can look at myself naked in the
Mirror today and feel hot; when I do that, it’s
Not because I haven’t adequately mortified my
Flesh; it’s because I’m getting resurrected.

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