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I was asked to play
on a ladder
in a high school skit

in front of the full assembly
of Holy Angels Academy
for young ladies

Up on the stage

not one fear of heights
but two

Not one fear

of being the center
of attention

but two

playing God
to Catholic nuns
and girls,

according to a script
in which I mocked

I became ill

when I read Camus
and the Stranger
opened his heart
to the vast indifference
of the universe

I burned with fever
when I heard
that Milton's Angel had declared

He would rather reign in hell
than serve in heaven!

I have known that angel
and sometimes
had to agree

Hell would be better
than the heaven offered

No thanks

Keep your clouds and harps
and eternal adoration

I have better things to do

Perhaps it is the dark angels
who have come here to help

and the ones still in charge
are spinning reality
against them

We are not here alone

We are caught up

That is what the Catholic God
wants you to know

We are caught up
in a spiritual war

We must choose sides

I choose the side of the angels
and humans
and critters

You duke out how many of you
are dancing on the head
of a pin

I need to know
who among you is ally
to human
and critter

Seems to me some of you
are out for blood
and are far too fine
with the crucifixion
and the message that it sends

That this is not real
not worth hanging on to
that it is the very source of our pain

This is a two sided argument
a many-sided argument
and I agree that the Catholic God
needs to not be
the only voice

Too harsh to suit my tastes

Too brutal
Too wrong

Sacrifice the body
It is illusion anyway

We are trapped in our senses
and being waylaid
by hungry angels

greedy for our souls
to land with them in hell

The whole thing is so medieval
in a bad sort of way

I can appreciate the grandeur
I really do

I can see the glory it can bring
for dying in a noble cause
like a war

But that is the basis
of my complaint

It is too warlike

Whom does it serve?

I don't like the answer
I can't agree

I side with those who would urge me to love
my body
the natural world
as well as my soul

My allies
make yourselves
known to me

That is what I would now
know to say
on that ladder

I do not mock you

but I do not
to serve you either

I am on the side
of embodied love


If you are not
we are enemies

I declare my allegiance

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