Emily Blair

Raised Pentecostal, Filled With Rage

Faith kneels at the end
of your sister’s bed, careful
not to wake her. Don’t you want
to wake her.
You’re here to wake her. You’re here
because the nightmares are too much
to face alone. The boyfriend who
rapes and hits and screams, he lives
in the nightmares. Faith says
God is doing this to you on purpose.
Faith says
He has a plan. The plan
is that you are raped
over and over, in so many places,
in so many humiliating ways,
by the first boy who kissed you.
Faith knows
God doesn’t give anyone
more than they can handle
so this mental breakdown is
blasphemy. Vomiting and hair loss,
weight loss and sobbing, all
blasphemous. You’re going to Hell
if you keep it up, so you kneel
and pray, at the end of your sister’s bed, that she wake up
and tell you what to do.

Emily Blair is an Appalachian poet and college instructor living in Charlotte, North Carolina. She acts as a fiction co-editor for Rabble Lit, a literary project focused on working-class narratives, and Screen Door Review, a queer Southern literary magazine.

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