you were the first person i kissed in a church –
first in the pews, as we sat looking at the stained window, the cross,
me pulling you close, so that you might stop shaking,
the anxiety ripping through you, bursting through your skin.
then second, finally, behind the piano,
backs pressed against the brick of a wall, quiet, restless,
arms around each other, hands on each other,
doing unholy things in a holy place –
i clasped my hands in prayer between your skin and the material of your shorts,
your voice quiet, words whispered against my neck, holier than any gospel.
as we sat hidden from view, in the dark,
your body was the cure for the sickness of my heart.
the parting of your lips was the red sea,
from your hands sprung all creation.
you were the star of bethlehem,
you were easter sunday.
your skin was bronze in the dark of the church,
your hair fanning around your head like a halo.
you were just a boy,
but in that moment i saw an angel.
in that moment,
i would have ventured purgatory for you.
in that moment,
i would have done anything to keep you safe.
i would have crossed the room,
to light the candles on the other side
to pray for this moment, in all its sacrilege
to remain sacred;
looking back on it now, maybe that’s why we didn’t last;
perhaps that evening, we went too far,
for though it was chaste at heart,
in the house of the lord, we had condemned ourselves –
though a love like that, in that time, i think,
could not be called a sin in any shape or form –
to see, regard you in such a sense
feels little more than blasphemy.
that evening, in the bloom of spring,
sits in my memory like a piece of eden;
whether it is the snake, or the apple, or adam,
my mind cannot decide.
it’s been a long time, since that evening,
yet it still speaks to me as if it were scripture,
as if i were the worst kind of sinner,
as if you could still save me from damnation.