"P.A.N. (an agnostic's acrostic)" by Eva Valenti
i have been
the pit to your peach and to your viper
poison-filled enabler to your venomous polygamy
i prayed only to you while you loved many gods
(and there's a slim chance of blessings when you look at those odds).
anarchy! you announced
beating my thighs until i ached (was i truly the authority?)
a leader armed and able,
apathetic you declared me dead far before my time.
arching in the wake of mutiny,
aged and abandoned,
i performed my ancient duty with grace
and forgave you, my antagonist.
oh but Nothing
could have foreseen
the underworldly torture in which I writhed
my newborn self-appreciation (you would have called it narcissism)
and especially Not
the nighttimes of nymphomaniac delight
and narcoleptic irreverence for sleep's stated hours,
how i evolved into nastiness,
how it faded nobly into a tempered neutrality, and finally,
into a knife-edged normalcy designed to negate my nemesis.
i never really pardoned you. my words were but noise
echoing nimbly from my lips to naïve ears
like nails in a coffin or a cross.