Volume 35, Number 2

Never a God

No, I wouldn’t be. God is good. He drowns a planet, save a single ark and the worthiest animals, and it is good. I didn’t get the radio host position despite engaging storytelling and a tenacity for foreign pronunciation because what they really wanted was someone whose voice had a lower timbre. God knows all. He knows a man who sees women in prepubescent girls will get sharp looks while those girls get whispered to be careful when they’re left alone with him. He is good so He will not stop it. I will never know if the man who asked if I wrote for smutty magazines during a job interview, in a room full of people, will get fired for speaking to me. God is just. He is so just that He plunged the world into darkness when His Only Begotten was crucified, but the sun will shine when Israel bombs Bethlehem and it is every average citizen’s obligation to force their governments to care about genocide again. I cannot afford to miss class or work for a strike against the disregard for human life. I will spend twenty years worrying if the only mite I cast in the well of activism will come back to be held against me. God rests. We call that day holy. I write poetry at 2 am on the phone I shouldn’t be looking at past midnight and someone at the library will say you should get some more rest. God has mercy. I glare at my ex under a spotlight in a cabaret. I am always too far left and much too center because I cut off family who voted for Trump but cannot let my art become a rallying cry for politics. God is right and He will let the world spin and burn and call it sanctified. I will die. He will call it good.

Title taken from “Not Strong Enough” by boygenius (2023)

—Jessie Anne