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That Mistress, Sin



Part I 


She can erase her scent and yet 

still smolder, still carry embers 

through my landscape and lay them on sprouting green blades. 


A former love who always hated, 

who offers graves shrouded in happiness, 


and happiness concealed in pleasure, 


and pleasure masked in transience, 


and wisdom hidden in deception, 


life in autonomy, 


autonomy in rebellion. 


Sin sits next to my pillow, 

when my eyes take off their covers and inhale morning sun. 


Shows up at the pew 

and comes out of me. 


Inches close by at prayer, bedside. 


Evades at the end of my

shoving hands. 


Part II 

He loved me when his 

wisdom wasn’t even a seed 

under hardened earth. 


I didn’t tell him his stains and 

shards could become mosaics of grace, 


painted stories that cracked a

dead grey with

red redemption from the

spotless Lamb, 

a spring green breaking 

through steel black,


a risen cross holding 

the Redeeming Christ. 


I would travel ahead of him 

with clouds for his paths. 


At his arrival, I showed him a 

land of rapture, 

bedazzled with sparkling lights that stretched to the horizon. 


He would pay me with love, 

and I was his master, 

until he looked toward heaven. 


Part III 

When she looked at him, 

the rage of hell rested in 

her eyes, 

as if Hatred had

become her new name, 

his death her renewed resolve. 


Gravel crunched under his feet 

as he entered the Narrow Path, 

the sky holding a purple

twilight in its palms. 

Sin ran to Christian, and as he turned, she said, “Why have you left my roses for thorns?” 


“Why haven’t you told me about His thorns?” he asked, his voice carrying new love, as if life would always be spring, but knowing winters would invade. 


Her voice raised, she said, “Why tell you when you have only loved me?”


“But why love you when He first loved me?” Christian said. 


They stared, smiles having long left their world.

Breathing hard, slowly, she said, “I will hunt you down until—” 

“Till I reach heaven’s doors,” he shouted. “From there, you will not follow me.”