Izzi Lynn


a week ago at an international conference of student leaders
a girl got on the stage
to tell the world 
her country is burning. 
to tell the world
her country is burning
and no one knows. 
to tell the world
her country is burning
and no one is listening. 
(help us, she begs
with eyes like atlas
the moment
before his back crumbled beneath the pressure). 
she is sixteen
and her government
is murdering kids for protesting

after she spoke,
i met her on the stairs. 
there were tears on her face
like she was a galaxy
and her tears were stars
falling from orbit. 
i told her, 
you carry your country in your hands
like a piece of broken glass
(even though
there is blood coating your skin) 
and i have never
seen anything
so strong. 

i saw an angel on the streets
two weeks ago. 
he was a fallen angel, mayhaps
with god\'s fury scorching down his throat
like bad gin. 
he looked like the world
had given him its worst
and his shoulders had buckled
under the pressure. 
(halos are not made 
for holding up the sky, 
dear angel,
you are not atlas). 
and when i gave him
five dollars
he looked at me
like he was the one seeing
angel wings

i saw angel wings
silhouetted in the shadows
of the building he was
leaning against.
and all i could think
was how blasphemous
it was
to see angels 
with tears in their eyes. 
angels were made as heaven\'s greatest weapon. 
when did they become so fragile
as to break 
when a girl gives them
five dollars?) 

i like
to believe in the
multiverse theory. 
because it means
that somewhere
in these thousand universes, 
my friend is kissing a girl
and tasting cherry chapstick
instead of tears. 
because it means that somewhere, 
my friend is telling her parents
she likes girls
and isn\'t being rejected for it. 
because it means that somewhere, 
my friend is still bright eyed
like a fawn
and holding hands with a girl
in petco as they look at the fish
and there is no woman
with a mouth like a crown of thorns
crucifying her for her love. 
because it means that somewhere, 
my friend is holding hands
in a petstore
unafraid and still innocent
and not tainted by the woman
telling her
that \"there are children here,\" 
as though my friend is not a child too. 
as though holding hands
is somehow scandalous
because it\'s two girls 
instead of a boy and a girl. 

here is not that universe. 
in this universe, 
my friend braces herself like 
she\'s in a car
about to crash
as she tells me
she likes girls too. 
in this universe, 
my friend tells me 
about the reason
her house is tense like a goddamn battlefield. 
in this universe, my friend
cries as she explains how her parents
think she\'s going to hell 
for loving boys and girls. 
in this universe, my friend
has eyes like 
a prisoner on death row
and all i can think about 
is how bright those eyes were
two years ago. 
in this universe, 
we are two broken girls
just once 
wishing that we could fall in love
and not be shamed. 

hozier plays in my ears
and i want to sing along
as loud as i possibly can
but my aunt is watching
and i don\'t think
i should. 

(hozier sings
the sickness of the church
that tells a boy
he\'s going to hell
because he kisses boys. 
and hozier sings
about the addiction of drugs
and all the dark truths
nobody wants to talk about.
and hozier sings
about the redemption
in love, 
whether it be
same sex or not.
and hozier sings
and i feel brave.)

there\'s an ache in my head
like when an airplane is
and i don\'t think it\'s 
to go away. 
there\'s an ocean of words
i wish i could say. 

but i am only
a girl with only
a certain amount of courage. 

and yes, 
hozier does 
make me want to scream
louder than ever before
i am still
just a girl
with only a certain amount
of power to 
make change. 

nobody listens when i talk. 

everybody listens when i write, 
but give me vocal cords
and everyone is suddenly 

bring me to church
and i will sing, 
but i cannot guarantee
that you will like the words. 

bring me to church, 
and i assure you, 
i will read.
but i cannot guarantee
that you will 
like the words
i speak. 

the gospel
is more than just
old words.