To the little girl with the braids tied in pink ribbons,
I never knew your name. You’re grown up now. Maybe you got kids. Bet you never leave them with someone you don’t know. Then you were seven or eight, the daughter of a friend of the girlfriend I had that week and you came over while she went to court or something. You sat on the couch watching cartoons. You had a scab on your knee and flowered underpants. And your skin was so white and so quiet and I needed quiet.
Now I think I shouldn’t have touched you like that. Then I was stoned and everything makes sense when you’re stoned. There were other girls, but you were the first and the one I saw at night when I pulled the sleeping bag over my head and the traffic on the bridge took over my veins.
I couldn’t get quiet, couldn’t get it right, so I quit living. It’s not hard. And now, I know things. Like I screwed up your life bad. And that bites. You still got time, right? Maybe you’re one of the good ones who can forgive. I don’t deserve it.
I don’t deserve shit. But that’s the weird thing, if you can forgive me, you get better, but it don’t change me a bit. You might even get a life that works okay. That’d be cool. Man, I never wanted no power like I had, messing with your mind, fuckin’ up your life. Maybe you already worked it out. Maybe all I am to you now is a shiver that pulls on your gut.
Death don’t change the past. It just makes you a little smart. Now I get that there were choices. I hope you pick the right thing, the good thing.
From the man you always hoped was dead and finally is
The Ranting Psalm
O God they say we are all your children
They say we are all created in your image
They say we are born again into your eternal love
And I say to you what about those who abuse your children
What about those fathers who come into their daughters’
Bedrooms at night, who pull back their covers
And force their sour breath upon their innocent skin
Would it not be better if you smote them
Destroyed with your own hand those who would destroy a childhood
Why are you silent why do you allow the shattered
To suffer in silence and shame
Surely God you should exercise justice they say vengeance is yours
And I want to know if you’re ever going to use it
Reach down your hand and press it against the throats of the transgressors
Until they can whisper no more until the sounds of don’t tell anyone
Are drowned in the gurgle of their spit
Silenced in their dying breaths
Stop granting second chances stop looking the other way
Stop pretending time heals all wounds
Stop killing hope and innocence and childhood
Too many of your children have suffered
At the hands of those who say they love them
I want what is right God I want what is just
I want you to restore what has been stolen
From your daughters and from your sons
Like King David I plead with you
Get off your throne get your head out of the clouds
You’ve done it before you can do it again
They say that you are love they say that you love us
So what about bringing wholeness what about saving souls
You will of course in time eventually
But why must the suffering last so long