an acolyte for a born into faith, fearful to stumble and set the
sanctuary ablaze. there was no calamitous fall into the pews,
i careened out of them, and into- hell, im told. is this hell? a
temperate snowfall brushes over us and i am to consider this
hell? it does get hot. even when ice slicks my boots, it is hot
when you look at me. i want to melt from it. in time i will be
mollified down to wax and free to be shaped by another man,
another cult. a new moth, new flame, new candle to be walked
down a new aisle. the fear from the dawn⁠— fire. the prophecy
roared in pews was wrong. there is no charring in response to
our sin, no burned flesh for our moments of love. if we suffer
a divine punishment it will not be because of where we slept
or with who, but because we could not hold sacred our union.
the eternal damnation i grapple with at night is not to do with
denial of any god’s love but the precipitous absence of yours.

About the Author

Paxton Knox is a queer writer and poet. They were born in Arkansas, and currently live in Oklahoma where they study sociology and creative writing. They long to be reading on a beach somewhere.