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"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.



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