Under their wings on their four sides they had
human hands. All four of them had faces and
wings, and the wings of one touched the
wings of another.…This was the
appearance of the likeness of
the glory of the LORD.
Ezekiel 1:8-9, 28
God is a Monster & So Am I
Image: “Ezekiel’s Vision by the River Chebar” by Donald Jackson
Poem inspired by the work of Bayo Akomolafe
I have a wound that weeps from time to time.
You cannot see it,
but if you listen closely,
you can hear the howl beneath my breath.
It is a gruesome lesion I hide from most.
I don’t want them to know that I’m disgusting –
a monster lurking in their midst.
I get the sense from some that I’m dangerous.
Once respected, now infected, damaged, and adrift.
Keep your distance from strangers
and wounded things.
For you never know what they might do.
We kill monsters,
stone our prophets,
lynch the different,
cage the wild,
and institutionalize the unwell,
so I hide the gaping hole in my side –
a tell that I am not normal.
But in the stillness,
I lift my shirt and listen.
My blood cries out
and I stare at the gore.
I worry I’m bonded by my trauma,
and tethered to my pain,
but I am summoned,
“Reach out your hand and put it in my side.”
My fingers pass through wet flesh.
I slip inside a spacious body
and know that I am not alone.
This body is a monstrosity made of many –
a creature of queer communion.
I see the faces of the occluded, the scapegoated,
the problematized, pathologized, exiled, and sacrificed.
The voice of a Human One declares,
“Behold the Body of Christ. I am in you, and you are in me.”
When winds of injustice
rush past the gash in my side
my body resonates with confrontational compassion
If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it…
When I hear of the lowly lifted
and the captive freed
my heart pangs with joy
for my liberation is bound up with theirs.
…if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.
Divine and Human,
with Holes in his Hands and Side,
I anoint your feet.
Then you wash mine.
God is a monster.
Do not be afraid.