Square One

Photo Credit: Arne F.

It has stainless-steel corners and claustrophobic walls.

It’s more of a box, really, or a hospital with long halls
where the long suffocation takes place
like euthanasia and I can’t figure out
if I am the doctor or the patient.
Either way, what I really want is for life to be painless.

A friend said to me the other day, “We think we’re okay with pain until we’re in it,”
and I tell God I’m okay with it, understanding that the paradox of being whole is to be fractured,
but when I find myself in square one, I realize I don’t want any pain that puts me backward.

Square one.
It has steels bars and concrete floors.
It’s a cell to return to after one hour’s warmth
in the sun, and I just want to know, How long will I be in prison?
Blue forehead and chafed wrists, my eyes have grown dim,
I know I’m missing something, but I can’t see what it is.
He only speaks what is true
and I must act on what he says,
but if my actions lead to bondage then something has to give–
wherever there is bondage, a lie is at its root,
and where deceit is breathed, a liar is afoot.
Jesus says to know the truth, that he and the Father are one,
that I’ve been adopted as a son, that is, a firstborn of the highest degree–
know the truth and it will set me free.

So maybe the Enemy inserted himself in my insecurity–a .22 assault against my beauty,
buckshot taken to the chest with, You are not treasured, and, You are not enough.
It’s a threadbare fabrication unraveling in the light,
so maybe there’s another lie to identify
that’s bringing me back here again, or it’s the Catch-22 is that my heart is
square one.
Sin to him is black and white-
striped prison clothes I’m wearing are the pajamas of a mime,
how do I escape bondage if I carry it inside?
I’m pressing my hands against the walls and ceiling of an invisibility called
square one.
It’s the last first
of my flesh’s hopscotch journey to a half-drunk scotch and a pair of heels,
my spirit’s shotgun view of death at the end of the road,
and my heart’s faithful choice that still lands me in
square one.

Oh, God…

I need it to be a paradox.


4 thoughts on “Square One

    1. Thank you for reading! Sometimes sharing something like this feels like a Major League athlete pitching a baseball to a quarterback and hoping for a homerun, so I’m really glad the writing alone made sense, and that you relate. Never alone, after all. :)


  1. Pingback: The Safety of Lightning Strikes | Grace Upon Grace

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