“good christian boy” by anonymous

good christian boy

I was raised very christian.


when I was young, I was only in it

for the dixie cups of cheez-its

and the coloring books of bible scenes

and the candy prizes for reciting john 3:16.


I remember the sweltering days of vbs

when you and I played games

with the nice high schoolers
who said “isn’t it cool

that jesus died for you?”

I remember in middle school,

going to church with my parents

to hear your uncle preach about the sins

of seducing a man

before you stand

at the altar

I remember that night at church camp

when I cried guilty tears and admitted my doubts

and you prayed with me that God would

cast them out


I remember, since I was 7 years old,

my mom saying

“that’s the kind

of good christian boy

you need to marry.”

and I remember that morning in my first year of college

when my naked body in the mirror

repulsed me

and I scrubbed until bright blotches stained my skin

but no amount of holy water could cleanse me.

the bible says “if a man is caught raping

a young woman, he must marry the young woman

because he violated her.”


“that’s the kind

of good christian boy

you need to marry.”


the kind of good christian boy

who forces my legs apart like the red sea

whose plague is worse than Egypt’s ever seen

who takes the fruit despite my pleas


a good christian boy like you.


but good for you if your God

has forgiven your sins and you get a

free pass to heaven,

but I’m already in hell

but the demons that haunt me

aren’t red

with horns


and pitchforks they look like the good christian boy

whose bookshelves of bibles I stared at

to escape his hungry gaze

whose bed springs cried out in protest beneath me

when I could not

whose silver cross dangled from his neck

above my limp body


my layers of hell are not Dante’s

but the rounds of PTSD therapy spent

bringing up memories I buried behind a stone

praying they wouldn’t come back to life

Noah’s great flood’s got nothing

on the tears of my panic attacks

every day I build myself a boat; I

hammer a smile on my face

and duct tape the leaks

so no one can see I’m really drowning

God, you say you’re always with me,

so where the fuck were you?


feathers pricked my cheeks

through his pillow,

mocking the wings of guardian angels

who missed the memo


the Savior didn’t come,

but he sure did


God, where were you to

lead him not into temptation

and deliver me from his evil?


now, when I lay me down to sleep

I pray that I won’t see that creep


what men

don’t understand is their

hands still feel like his against my skin;

when I dared to make love for the first time since,

my body mistook touch for trauma

mistook intimacy for emptiness

as in my empty ribs—
I’m not a human, just a hole

just the sum of my body parts

just a hoe for horny hypocrites,

for a good christian boy

playing God

so he can do whatever pleases him.

but please, leave this piece of me whole

so I can feel things without feeling

tears spring to my eyes and

that good christian boy between my thighs;

my body is not a temple, it is a minefield

but it doesn’t feel like mine

it was stolen by the good christian boy,

and I know you can cut off his hand

for something like that,

but I have a much better idea

I haven’t been back to church

and I haven’t seen him since,

but I swear on the bible,

if our paths cross again,

God help him.