by Chris Crowder
My God, we’re too dark for a rainbow.
You cower behind creation. Clouds like anvils.
Nothing happens for a reason.
Let me show you how everything feels.
Your angels’ cheeks are too elastic.
The side of a couch.
I want my knuckles, your face.
In the reverse, I am drowning.
When I was about to die, I grabbed your big toe.
It peeked out of a cumulonimbus.
I screamed WHY DIDN’T YOU SAVE ME?
But I meant You love me, right?
And then you just—wiggled.
And I was so angry, I forgot I was scared.
I landed in a boxing ring.
You build everything just for me.
Billboards say God Saves. I rescued myself.
Then came the fear of demons. White supremacists.
I didn’t lack faith, God. I learned.
I trusted so much, I didn’t tell the truth.
I heard screeching voices. Part of my family.
Where was yours? Did you hear me?
I asked if I was dead, living in the afterlife.
It became I’m dead. This is my end.
Every room in my house was locked.
I sobbed LET ME IN LET ME IN LET ME IN LET ME IN.
I cut my eye on the holes of doorknobs.
My ear pressed to the door got splinters and bled.
He’s too old to be acting like this.
Why doesn’t he just shut up and pray?
I welcomed insults just to interrupt silence.
Noise makes a horror, for a moment, vanish.
In the mornings, you snore, God.
I thought it was so innocent.
So much so, I forgot you were God.
In your brown recliner that used to be green.
What else is tainted green?
A black eye.
My little chair was lime.
My little hands were red.
You were supposed to wear a crimson cape.
I shone a ﬂashlight into night sky for you.
A superhero will swear to protect their citizens.
But destroy the whole city. Maim, rescue, repeat.
Promises are what’s special about expectation.
The rainbow is a broken promise.
Chris Crowder is from Flint, Michigan and earned his MFA at the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan. A poetry editor for The Adroit Journal, his poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Best New Poets, TriQuarterly, Shenandoah, Jellyfish Review, Zone 3, and the Poetry Foundation’s VS podcast.