Aug 15

Please Don’t Google My Name

by Misti Rainwater-Lites

I was little and didn’t know anything so
They told me stuff.
Mostly They told me about Three being One.
There is a God, he’s the biggest, he’s the Daddy
of them all.
There is a son, he’s Jesus, a necessary pawn.
There is a ghost called Holy Spirit
that will come into your heart.
You need the Three. You need the One.
So much love in one package.
I had nightmares about the Rapture, the Tribulation,
the Bottomless Pit.
When I was nine my mother took me to the funeral home
to see my cousin.
I did not want to see his dead body in the coffin
but I saw it.
He became the star of my apocalyptic dreams.
He was in the pit trying to crawl out.
I was of no use.
The most terrifying thing was the account, The Movie.
When you die God shows you a movie of your life.
I know this because They told me so.
I had to live through so many things once.
I did not want to have to live through it all
again when dead,
sharing popcorn and Milk Duds
with God and his angels.
So I stopped believing Them, in pieces.
I threw a lot of dolls and books out of a lot of windows.
There have been a few bonfires.

Today the universe is banging down my door.
“Mothers, be careful what you say to your children.
Your words become their inner voice.”
My son is sick, it might be strep throat.
Yesterday I drove the car with the broken air conditioner
all over Leon Valley looking for Sonic,
my son sweating in his carseat
wearing the Black Panther mask
his father made out of construction paper.
I screamed curses at San Antonio, at Leon Valley, at Texas,
at the goddamn sun.
My son cried and said he loved San Antonio
because of the Tower of The Americas.
He wanted cheese sticks and a Sprite.
I found Sonic and paid for his snack with quarters
taken from his robot bank.
The father calls me from the clinic, asks me where
our son was born, how much he weighed, if I
took medication during my pregnancy.
My son is sick, it might be strep throat.
There are Popsicles in the freezer.
I think I might be a robot.
I keep bumping into brick walls.
Words are losing all meaning.
I’m sick, it might be a lifelong affliction.
Up until five a.m. Googling Hollie Stevens,
finding much light, much horror.
Hollie Stevens transcended the shit ass carnival.
I think I might be wallowing in it.
I think I might need new batteries.

I fly away to be a mermaid
then come home to Texas
where I am reminded with each piece of bread,
each drop of wine,
that I’m ugly and broken and not fooling anyone.
Words are losing all meaning.
My inner voice is no kind of map.
I’m driving around Texas looking for a place to park.
My son’s voice is behind me
asking me why some of the flags are flying
from the top of the poles
and some of the flags are stuck
in the middle.
He wanted to see the latest Stan Lee extravaganza.
He wanted to wear 3D glasses.
I took him I took it I sat there and cringed.
I never fought in Vietnam
so why the fuck am I so goddamn shell-shocked?

I’ve thrown a lot of dolls and books from a lot of windows.
I can’t count all the bonfires.