Taking God's Place

Poetry by Scout Frost

There are still dishes in the sink,
still black mold in the bathroom.
I go to bed with clean teeth and unclean hands
and little more to give.
The first round of antibiotics cured my sickness
and then made me break out,
red and raw with hives.
875 milligrams of amoxicillin
twice daily, and on the seventh day,
you could see all the places the world touched me,
all the ways I’ve been torn apart
by the smallest of things—
a warm shower, a gentle touch.
There’s always something isn’t there?
Something to fix or something to heal.
Even when things are good,
there’s the mildew, there’s the catching,
the fear of falling from grace.
I want to believe in God and my own goodness
while I wait to be myself again.
I want to have a kind of faith
in what’s equally as unreachable,
as untouchable as myself in this benign quiet.
I start praying in the darkness,
just to cover my bases,
just to give asking for help a try.
When I wake, I’ll do God’s work,
Remaking myself in a new image of wellness,
stripping off and washing away the sin of being sick.
The hand of God,
the body of Christ, of Lazarus.
I know I’ll never be perfectly clean.
There will away be pots to scrub
and a body to feed.
But if just for a moment
I could hide this destructive decay,
the divine deterioration,
then maybe I would find my way back
to a kind of life awake.

Published 14th April, 2024.

Scout Frost is a queer nonbinary artist and writer from Upstate New York and a recent graduate from Ithaca College's writing program.

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