Black Churches Make Me Feel Good
Black churches make me feel good:
the music, the emotion, the sense of community.
But I don’t believe in god.
Yet sometimes I yearn to steal a drop
of strength from their well of unwavering faith.
So I sneak in after a service has started,
I sit in the last pew and close my eyes.
Have you ever heard a thick black woman sing to you?
I keep my eyes closed and I listen.
I can always feel her words finding me.
My hurting heart swells and my invisible scars fade.
Her words forgive me and I am cleansed by her voice’s purity.
But I don’t believe in spirits.
Yet her voice floats above my body
sprinkling sweetened showers of reassurance,
telling me that I can rise to life’s occasions,
“Walk in the light: and thine shall be
A path, though thorny, bright;
For God, by grace, shall dwell in thee,
And God Himself is light.”
Sometimes this makes me cry more
because I know that I am a
fraud faking faith for forgiveness;
But when I open my eyes, I can see in hers
that none of these things are true.
Because I believe in souls.
It is the thread that holds strong through all of our disconnections.
Some souls are full-time beggars
while others have opened up weekly clinics.
The woman singing is always the latter of the two,
so willingly handing over strength that took
a river’s worth of tears to produce.